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On managing universities’ performance, with Ana I. Melo, Cláudia S. Sarrico, Zoe Radnor at the PMA 2014 Conference

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Ana I. Melo, Cláudia S. Sarrico, Zoe Radnor at the PMA 2014 Conference

The presentation “Performance Management Systems in Universities. Do Governance Structures Matter?” was delivered in the second day of the PMA 2014 Conference by Ana I. Melo, Assistant Professor at the University of Aveiro, Cláudia S. Sarrico, Associate Professor, Department of Management, ISEG – Lisboa School of Economics and Management and Zoe Radnor, Associate Dean for Teaching, Loughborough University.

In order to better understand if governance structures matter when implementing a Performance Management System (PMS) within a university, the three researchers developed a comparative study between two innovative Portuguese and British universities, based on a case study design.

Some of their main findings regarding the factors that influence a successful PMS adoption in universities are:

  1. Internal and external pressures force universities to renew and reshape their governance structure, as well as their management practices
  2. The external pressures are the most influential ones, and usually come from:
  • The policies implemented at state level or, specifically for Portugal, from European laws;
  • The market, through different stakeholders that demand more quality from universities;
  • Governments that force universities to implement control mechanisms.

The identified measures that universities take in order to diminish the external influences are:

  • Reducing the governmental financial support and increasing self-steering;
  • Having a professional manager, who brings values specific to the private sector.
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