Then, common models of performance measurement and how they were developed are investigated. Third, the public and private sectors are compared and contrasted to highlight similarities and differences in their functions, goals, and outputs. Fourth, key developments in private and public sector performance measures are reviewed and discussed to highlight the convergence in the efforts of each sector to address stakeholder expectations. The paper concludes with a set of observations that disprove the hypothesis by showing that performance measurement as a basis for financial accountability and management in both the private and public sectors has become more complex and difficult and provide challenges for everyone.
Any discussion of organizational performance begins with an understanding of the nature of human organizations and why they exist. Like the human beings who establish them, every organization exists for a purpose, a set of goals or objectives that has to be achieved. By custom and for analytical convenience, organizations are classified based on their main purpose; thus, there are private-sector, public-sector, not-for-profit, institutional, voluntary, and mixed organizations. Table 1 summarises each of these organizational types, their specific purposes, and some basic examples of each.
Regardless of the type, an organization can be said to be successful if it meets the purpose(s) for which it is established, and with success comes its continued growth and existence. Otherwise, it would be better for an organization that does not meet its purpose for existing to close down. This is where accounting as a management tool proves its usefulness because it helps provide public sector organizations with the means to measure performance (Jones et al., 2002).