Alnoor Ebrahim: Performance Measurement in the Social Sector: Problems of Causality, Control, and Divergent Accountabilities


Alnoor Ebrahim: Performance Measurement in the Social Sector: Problems of Causality, Control, and Divergent Accountabilities

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Levinthal Hall, Humanities Center (424 Santa Teresa St on the Stanford Campus)

To attend RSVP here.

Presentation begins at 4:00pm

Performance measurement in the social sector is inhibited by a lack of conceptual framing on two related problems: the problem of what to measure under conditions of causal uncertainty and limited management control, and the problem of multiple and divergent accountability demands. Grounded in the historical development of performance measurement among practitioner communities in the United States and in international development, I develop two applied frameworks that aim to: a) provide a conceptual basis for differentiating among social results; and, b) clarify the socially constructed roles of measurement systems in communicating those results to external actors. This work draws inspiration from previous efforts by accounting scholars and contingency theorists in understanding the relationships between uncertainty, complexity, and systems of assessment.

Alnoor Ebrahim is an Associate Professor in the General Management Unit, and in the Social Enterprise Initiative, at the Harvard Business School. His research and teaching focus on the challenges of performance management, accountability, and governance facing social sector organizations. He is also a principal of Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations.

See a map of the event location

 

PACS EVENT CALENDAR