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De communicatiemeter; performance indicatoren voor communicatie

Authors:
  • Ex- University of Jyväskylä

Abstract

Vos, M. (2010), De communicatiemeter; performance indicatoren voor communicatie. Utrecht, HU. Dutch publication on quality indicators for communication, including also an application for municipalities.
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The approach of the 'Balanced scorecard' of Kaplan and Norton (1) nowadays is quite well-known in business environments. A balanced scorecard is a measurement and improvement system. We searched for advantages of this approach in communication management and what the conditions for such a system would be. Looking at the structure of the balanced scorecard of Kaplan & Norton we came up with a similar structure consisting of four domains: concern communication, internal communication, marketing communication and organisation of the communication function. We opted for five dimensions of quality and transformed these into indicators specifically for each domain. We then looked into the process necessary to implement such a system of quality control.
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Purpose – This study aims to achieve a better understanding of communication quality and how it can be measured in the municipal context. A previously developed instrument for measuring communication in municipalities is tested and evaluated. Design/methodology/approach – The instrument draws on the balanced scorecard of Kaplan and Norton and quality control procedures as utilised by the European Foundation of Quality Measurement (EFQM). For municipalities, communication quality can be defined as the degree to which communication contributes towards the effectiveness of municipal policy and how it strengthens the relationship between citizens and municipal organisations. Three communication functions are given, and for each function seven quality criteria, for example responsiveness, are defined. The latter serve as an umbrella for several indicators that are assessed on a Likert scale. The results for four municipalities in The Netherlands are presented and compared, and the instrument is evaluated. Findings – The corporate communication scores were relatively high, while the policy communication scores were low. Of the quality criteria, accessibility and publicity scored high and responsiveness low. The instrument has mainly been developed on the basis of auditor and self-assessment, as municipalities have, as yet, few facts and figures with which to support the assessment. The measurement instrument needs to be integrated in the organisation's planning cycle, as reflection on the results can help in implementing improvements in quality. The measurement process stimulates dialogue on communication quality and the priorities to be set for communication policy. Research limitations/implications – The study is based on four cases. The instrument needs to be tested across a range of governmental-level organisations. Practical implications – Municipalities can use this instrument to improve the added value of communication. Originality/value – A detailed description of the results of applying an instrument, such as this, developed for assessing communication quality, has not until now been published.
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