Challenging the Performance Movement: Accountability, Complexity, and Democratic Values

Overview

The values of the performance movement, which seeks to establish clear benchmarks for evaluating government officials, business executives, and other professionals, have permeated our society. Who could be against setting standards for accountability, especially of government employees and programs? Yet many of these guidelines have had unintended consequences, creating new problems of their own. Radin takes on many of the assumptions of the performance movement, arguing that too often a simplistic, ...
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Challenging The Performance Movement

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Overview

The values of the performance movement, which seeks to establish clear benchmarks for evaluating government officials, business executives, and other professionals, have permeated our society. Who could be against setting standards for accountability, especially of government employees and programs? Yet many of these guidelines have had unintended consequences, creating new problems of their own. Radin takes on many of the assumptions of the performance movement, arguing that too often a simplistic, one-size-fits-all mentality fails to take into account many factors that need to be considered to develop truly effective tools.

Drawing on a wide range of ideas, including theories of intelligence and modes of thought, assumptions about numbers and information, and the nature of professionalism, Radin sheds light on the hidden complexities of creating standards to evalute performance. She details a number of concerns about government standards in particular, from accounting for issues of equity to allowing for complicated intergovernmental relationships and fragmentation of powers. She explores in detail how recent efforts in the U.S. government--the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 and the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) instituted by the current Bush administration--have fared in their intented goals in a system fraught with multiple functions and political realities. Looking outside the United States, she analyzes some successful efforts by nongovernmental organizations to impose standards of integrity and equity on their governments. Radin concludes with alternative assumptions and lessons for those embarking on performance measurement activities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589010918
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Series: Public Management and Change Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 389,491
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Beryl A. Radin is a member of the faculty at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University. She was the recipient of the 2002 Donald Stone Outstanding Academic Award from the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management of the American Society for Public Administration. Radin served as the president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management from 1995-96 and has been active in many professional organizations. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Radin is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and books, including Beyond Machiavelli: Policy Analysis Comes of Age (Georgetown University Press). In 1996-98, she served as a special advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was involved in performance measurement activities within that federal department.

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Table of Contents

List of TablesPreface

1. The Ubiquitous Nature of Performance

2. The Performance Mindset

3. One Size Fits All

4. Demeaning Professionals: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater?

5. Competing Values: Can the Performance Movement Deal with Equity?

6. The Reality of Fragmentation: Power and Authority in the U.S. Political System

7. Intergovernmental Relationships: Power and Authority in the U.S. Political System

8. Information, Interests, and Ideology

9. Competing Values in a Global Context: Performance Activities in the World Bank

10. Conflicting Patterns of Assumptions: Where Do We Go From Here?

Index

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