Purpose: The study aims to assess the COVID-19 event in three European countries (Germany, Italy and the UK) by investigating the quality of their performance management of it. Design/methodology/approach: Pragmatic constructivism (PC) is employed as a lens through which the performance management of each country can be examined and compared over a period encompassing the first wave of COVID-19. Findings: Official statistics show that one of the countries has a significantly lower death rate. It developed and operated a more detailed and precise system of performance management. From the perspective of PC, this system supported efforts to build a functioning reality construction integrating facts, possibilities, values and communication. Originality/value: The evaluation of different national approaches to the performance management of the COVID-19 reality is novel to the literature on management accounting. PC is used as a diagnostic tool to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of the performance management of public sector activities in different countries.
The authors would like to express their gratitude for the insights and constructive comments received from the Guest Editors, and from the anonymous referees during the reviewing process.
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