Authors: Robert C. Rickards, Colin Byron Nierenz, Rolf Ritsert
This paper examines KPI-usage for controlling purposes in North Rhine-Westphalia’s police force. The authors analyze responses from 186 senior police managers to an online survey based on a structured questionnaire. The analysis focuses on three types of KPI-usage and six explanatory variables. It investigates the relationship between user behavior and the explanatory variables by means of causal analysis. The study finds that senior police managers use KPIs mostly conceptually, and only infrequently symbolically or instrumentally.
Acceptance of key performance indicators proves to be the most important explanatory variable. It has a strong, statistically significant impact on all three kinds of KPI-usage. Agency size and the attitude of superiors have a weaker, but nonetheless statistically
significant, effect on symbolic usage. The study therefore recommends activities increasing the acceptance of KPIs to promote their usage by senior police managers.
Keywords: Behavioral accounting, controlling, Germany, key performance indicators, KPIs, police management