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Abstract

Performance Measurement Systems (PMS) have become popular over the past two decades. Especially since the mid 1990s there has been a notable increase of organizations using these kinds of management tools. The benefits of PMS are widely accepted in the industrial sector, but there have been ambiguous experiences in the public sector. One of the first implementations in the European forest sector took place in 2000, with the introduction of a PMS system by the Forest Administration of Baden-Württemberg (Germany; BW). This paper reports experiences from the implementation of the system. A questionnaire was developed, based on previous research in the United States, and used to collect information about implementation experiences. Evaluation theory is used as methodological framework; PMS theory provides relevant criteria for the appraisal of the success of these methods. The paper presents the key results of the survey related to nine criteria. The level of acceptance and use of the systems meet international standards. There is a relevant capability to increase the commitment to the strategy and improve the performance of the whole organization. The operationalisation of targets is one key success factor. On the other hand, it is obvious that the implementation of PMS requires a tremendous input of financial and staff resources. There is a significant risk of failure with the multidimensional use. In addition, the derivation of relevant valid indicators for ‘soft factors’ outside the financial and physical sphere of a forest organization is crucial. It is concluded that PMS is a feasible approach for forest enterprises and administrations. However, its implementation requires a detailed analysis of the organizational and administrational framework. These factors are discussed and highlighted in the form of seven core findings.

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