Performance and Smart Cities: A Foucauldian Approach

Alsaid, Loai and Krahmal, Vera (2018). Performance and Smart Cities: A Foucauldian Approach. In: 12th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting Conference, 11-13 Jul 2018, Edinburgh, UK.



This paper theorizes performance management’s role in recognizing public value governance. It uses the Foucauldian governmentality theory framework in order to trace the governmental layers and processes that connect micro-organizational changes with ideological transformations within smart city discourse. Data comes from a case study comprising a four-month fieldwork into an Egyptian city council’s performance management practices and an extensive review of secondary materials on Cairo smart city project and related electricity-service developments. Empirical findings provide insights into the ways in which performance measurement plays a role in governing smart developments and how that role evolves with the political ideologies of the city government. New key performance indicators (KPIs) take political meanings when they institutionalize the city’s public value ideologies and make the connections between the macro-political outcomes and micro organizational outputs.

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