The Use of Key Figures and its Impact on Activity

The Case of a Hospital

by Anja Kern (Author)
©2008 Thesis 298 Pages


The objective of the research is to analyze the use of key figures as management tools; in particular how they are used and the impact of their use on activity. The focus is on the analysis of the micro-processes and dynamics of the use of key figures. To overcome the shortcomings of the cognitive-rational paradigm in management research, this book presents an alternative approach based on Cassirer’s philosophy and Vygotski’s theory of object-oriented and mediated action. The research proposes a new theory of the use of management tools, in particular key figures, which recognizes their interpretative, subjective and situative dimension. In the light of this theory an action research was carried out in a French hospital. The results show that the use of key figures is vital for understanding organizational dynamics such as the articulation between individuals and collective activity and the balance between stability and change.


ISBN (Softcover)
Kennzahlensystem Krankenhaus Controlling Kennzahlen Krankenhausmanagement Theory of Tools Activity theory Strategisches Management
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 297 pp., 10 tables, 16 graphs

Biographical notes

Anja Kern (Author)

The Author: Anja Kern graduated from the University of Mannheim and ESSEC Business School in France in a joint MBA program in 1996. She worked for five years within management accounting. Since 2001 she has been a lecturer of management of the DAAD at University Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Her main areas of research are the use of key figures and development of organisations, and theory of management tools.


Title: The Use of Key Figures and its Impact on Activity