Performance Information in the Public Sector: How It Is Used


Combining practical experience with academic analysis this book explores the social and organizational dynamics of performance indicators. It moves beyond the technicalities of measurement and indicators and looks at how performance information is changing the public sector.

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Combining practical experience with academic analysis this book explores the social and organizational dynamics of performance indicators. It moves beyond the technicalities of measurement and indicators and looks at how performance information is changing the public sector.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Most social science work on the burgeoning industry of public service performance indicators concentrates on critiques of the validity or reliability of the numbers. But we know much less about how performance numbers are actually used in public sector organizations. This timely book gives us some intriguing answers to that question." — Christopher Hood, Gladstone Professor of Government, University of Oxford, UK

"Performance has become the public management mantra of our time. For those of us with a particular concern to improve the quality of life for the poor it offers a ray of hope that we might focus our frequently stumbling efforts at public sector reform on a concrete outcome. But at the same time, we sense that there are some risks in this new certainty. Using performance information to inform public sector decisions concerning resource allocation, and to improve efficiency in resource usage is a widely shared goal - but simply measuring performance and then announcing the results can create an illusion of transparency and robust action, while in reality distracting attention from fixing the underlying managerial and political dysfunction. This book has opened a window into the fascinating real world of performance information and its use. It is ideal reading for practitioners and theoreticians as it balances appropriate scepticism with some practical ways forward. It will contribute to practical improvements in public sector policy, and a much-needed and deeper debate on a crucial topic." — Nick Manning, Manager, Public Sector and Governance, Latin America and the Caribbean Region, World Bank, Washington DC, USA

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Product Details

Meet the Author

WOUTER VAN DOOREN is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and Research Fellow at the Public Management Institute of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

STEVEN VAN DE WALLE is Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Introduction Using Public Sector Performance Information Steven Van de Walle Van de Walle, Steven Wouter van Dooren van Dooren, Wouter

Pt. I Bureaucracy

1 Nothing New Under the Sun? Change and Continuity in the Twentieth-Century Performance Movements Wouter Van Dooren Van Dooren, Wouter

2 Advocacy and Learning: An Interactive-Dialogue Approach to Performance Information Use Donald Moynihan Moynihan, Donald

3 Performance Information and Performance Steering: Integrated System or Loose Coupling? Per Laegreid Laegreid, Per Paul G. Roness Roness, Paul G. Kristin Rubecksen Rubecksen, Kristin

4 Performance Measurement Beyond Instrumental Use Patria de Lancer Julnes Julnes, Patria de Lancer

5 Comparing Performance across Public Sectors Geert Bouckaert Bouckaert, Geert John Halligan Halligan, John

6 Hitting the Target and Missing the Point? Developing an Understanding of Organizational Gaming Zoe Radnor Radnor, Zoe

7 Performance Management Systems: Providing Accountability and Challenging Collaboration Kathryn G. Denhardt Denhardt, Kathryn G. Maria P. Aristigueta Aristigueta, Maria P.

Pt. II Politics and Society

8 Determinants of Performance Information Utilization in Political Decision Making Jostein Askim Askim, Jostein

9 UK Parliamentary Scrutiny of Public Service Agreements: A Challenge Too Far? Carole Johnson Johnson, Carole Colin Talbot Talbot, Colin

10 Performance Information and Educational Policy Making Age Johnsen Johnsen, Age

11 Rational, Political and Cultural Uses of Performance Monitors: The Case of Dutch Urban Policy Dennis de Kool de Kool, Dennis

12 Reporting Public Performance Information: ThePromise and Challenges of Citizen Involvement Alfred Tat-Kei Ho Ho, Alfred Tat-Kei

13 Publishing Performance Information: An Illusion of Control? Steven Van de Walle Van de Walle, Steven Alasdair Roberts Roberts, Alasdair

Epilogue: The Many Faces of Use Harry Hatry Hatry, Harry



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