Communication quality and added value: a measurement instrument for municipalities
Vos, M. (2009). Communication quality and added value: a measurement instrument for municipalities. Journal of Communication Management, 13 (4), 362-377. doi:10.1108/13632540911004623 Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewPDF.jsp?contentType=Article&...
Published inJournal of Communication Management
Purpose – This study aims at a better understanding of communication quality and how it can be measured in the municipal context. A previously developed instrument for measuring communication in municipalities was tested and evaluated. Design/methodology/approach - The instrument draws on the balanced scorecard of Kaplan and Norton and quality control procedures as utilised by the European Foundation of Quality Measurement. For municipalities, communication quality can be defined as the degree to which communication contributes towards the effectiveness of municipal policy and how it strengthens the relationship between citizens and municipal organisations. Three communication functions are given, and for each function seven quality criteria, for example responsiveness, are defined. The latter serve as an umbrella for several indicators that are assessed on a Likert scale. The results for four municipalities in the Netherlands are presented and compared, and the instrument is evaluated. Findings – The Corporate communication scores were relatively high while the Policy communication scores were low. Of the quality criteria, Accessibility and Publicity scored high and Responsiveness low. The instrument has mainly been developed on the basis of auditor and self-assessment, as municipalities have, as yet, few facts and figures with which to support the assessment. The measurement instrument needs to be integrated in the organisation’s planning cycle, as reflection on the results can help in implementing improvements in quality. The measurement process stimulates dialogue on communication quality and the priorities to be set for communication policy. Research limitations – The study is based on four cases. The instrument needs to be tested across a range of governmental-level organisations. Practical implications - Municipalities can use this instrument to improve the added value of communication. Originality/value - A detailed description of the results of applying an instrument, such as the present one, developed for assessing communication quality, has not yet been published. ...