Because of the increasing cooperation of actors in public service systems, the evaluation of service outcomes involves a complex set of information sources and processes. Organization-specific evaluation practices yield only a partial picture of the effectiveness of services. To address this issue, the paper studies the information processes in the context of Finnish social services and analyzes knowledge-related problems in system-level performance measurement. As a result, this paper proposes that more systematic knowledge management is needed in order to provide valid information on the effectiveness of public welfare services. The findings contribute to the study, analysis, and implementation of knowledge management in the public domain. We further provide a discussion relating to the challenges in measuring service effectiveness of information processes with respect to gathering, combining, and presenting performance information. This research adds to the literature by presenting a system-level analysis of information flows and pinpointing the most crucial disconnects with respect to these flows. The results that we present have clear implications for strategic and political decision-making.
Laihonen, H. and Sillanpää V. (2014) “What is the role of knowledge management in establishing the effectiveness of public welfare services?”, Knowledge and Process Management, 21(2), pp. 112-121.