The defence performance measurement framework: Measuring the performance of defence organisations at the strategic level


As the gap between strategic commitments and budgetary constraints continues to grow, defence organisations have introduced performance management initiatives to support decision-making and to improve governance. However, introducing managerial practices in public organisations, including defence, proves to be challenging. As performance management initiatives within defence suffer from an implementation gap, strategic benefits are not being harnessed. In our study, we first exploit the results of a Systematic Literature Review to better anchor the encountered challenges within literature. We then apply thematic analysis to a unique dataset from twelve NATO countries to propose a new defence-specific performance management framework for the strategic level. As the new framework preserves the benefits of existing initiatives while mitigating most recorded challenges, it is proposed as a new guide for designing and assessing defence performance management efforts. Thereby, professionals and scholars are provided with a powerful instrument to address the implementation gap. Moreover, the theoretical and empirical lens adopted ensures alignment between performance management initiatives, defence policy, defence strategy, and strategic objectives. Notably, policy goals and strategic “ends” are clearly connected to critical processes and resources. Thereby, the new framework better supports discussions with key defence stakeholders pertaining to the gap between commitments and constraints.

Joaquim Soares, Geert Letens, Nathalie Vallet, Wouter Van Bockhaven, Heather Keathley-Herring & Eileen Van Aken (2022) The defence performance measurement framework: measuring the performance of defence organisations at the strategic level, Defence Studies, 22:1, 99-122, DOI: 10.1080/14702436.2021.1994394