Investigating the flow of Organisational Obstinacy in Collaborative Balanced Scorecard: An Ethnographic Action Research in Public Service.

Nick Clifford, Peter Kawalek

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Abstract: Area of concern: Developing a Balanced Scorecard (BSC) for a network of public-private institutions requires interdependent connectivity and information sharing to set commonly agreed performance standards. Such a Collaborative BSC (CBSC) reflects a high degree of socially constructed organizational values, rules, and procedures. In doing so, organizational changes take place to reach to equilibriums among varying (sometimes conflicting) organizational powers. Our research tends to draw a deep understanding of the systemic nature of organizational obstinacy that shapes the success of organizational a change and raises contested values in the provision of public services. The evidence of our findings has been drawn from the local councils in the Metville region that recorded low performance in their public service delivery. The change actors in this project are a team of public-private executives who were responsible for developing an inclusive CBSC where different stakeholder groups contribute to the perceived performance. The above mentioned area of concern raises two research questions that led our research: The first question is; “How organisational obstinacy evolves in organisations undertaking major change for CBSC?� This quest helps map the events of inter-dependencies in Metville’s change programme and identify the extent to which a conceptual understanding of the need to change is or is not shared. The second question is; “What is the impact of organisational obstinacy on the change dynamics associated with building the CBSC?� Answering such a question helps in identifying the dual (positive & negative) impact of organisational obstinacy on the organisational change and its dynamics. It sheds the light on organisational obstinacy as values- laden as well as a restraining factor. Answering these two questions led to three levels of contribution; Theoreitical, Methodological, and Partical.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Organisational Obstinacy, Organisational Change, Organisational Learning, SSM, Ethnographic longitudinal Action Research, Collaborative Balanced Scorecard


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