The Dynamics of Performance Management

The Dynamics of Performance Management: Constructing Information and Reform

Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    The Dynamics of Performance Management
    Book Description:

    Efficiency. Innovation. Results. Accountability. These, advocates claim, are the fruits of performance management. In recent decades government organizations have eagerly embraced the performance model-but the rush to reform has not delivered as promised. Drawing on research from state and federal levels, Moynihan illustrates how governments have emphasized some aspects of performance management-such as building measurement systems to acquire more performance data-but have neglected wider organizational change that would facilitate the use of such information. In his analysis of why and how governments in the United States have made the move to performance systems, Moynihan identifies agency leadership, culture, and resources as keys to better implementation, goal-based learning, and improved outcomes. How do governments use the performance information generated under performance systems? Moynihan develops a model of interactive dialogue to highlight how performance data, which promised to optimize decision making and policy change for the public's benefit, has often been used selectively to serve the interests of particular agencies and individuals, undermining attempts at interagency problem solving and reform. A valuable resource for public administration scholars and administrators, The Dynamics of Performance Management offers fresh insight into how government organizations can better achieve their public service goals.

    eISBN: 978-1-58901-435-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Acronyms
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    When the National Collegiate Athletic Association selects teams for the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament, some teams automatically qualify for the “dance” if they win their regular season conference tournament, but more than half of the sixty-four-team field depend on invitations from a ten-person committee assigned to evaluate their performances. In 2007 Syracuse University did not make the cut. The decision, at least for Syracuse alumni such as myself, came as something of a shock. The Syracuse coach suggested that the head of the selection committee was crazy. After all, Syracuse had won more than twenty games, usually the basis...

  7. 1 An Era of Governance by Performance Management
    (pp. 3-25)

    The beginning of the twenty-first century finds us in an era of governance by performance management. Frederick Mosher charted the history of government in the United States via the management characteristics of each era, portraying the twentieth century as dominated by two phases: government by the efficient (1906–37) and government by managers (the post-1937 era).¹ In recent decades, the concept of performance has become central to public management reform, reflecting a fusion between the key values of both management and efficiency, now more broadly redefined to include effectiveness.²

    In this era, public managers are asked to justify their actions...

  8. 2 Performance Management as Doctrine
    (pp. 26-38)

    What does performance management actually mean, and what does it hope to achieve? This chapter examines the basic claims made in performance management doctrine. These claims serve as a theoretical standard against which evidence on the actual implementation of performance management and alternative theories can be compared. The key claim that applies to government organizations is that two mutually dependent reforms should be adopted: Managers should be given more flexibility in human resources and budgeting matters but held accountable by quantitative performance standards.

    One of the defining tensions of the intellectual development of public administration is between the field as...

  9. 3 The Partial Adoption of Performance Management Reforms in State Government
    (pp. 39-57)

    This chapter reviews current knowledge on performance management implementation at the state government level.¹ From one perspective it looks optimistic. A number of surveys show that state governments have been busy creating performance management systems. State governments have mandated that agencies create and disseminate performance reporting requirements, but they have not provided the type of personnel and budgeting flexibility that performance management doctrine suggests is needed. Therefore, we see only a partial adoption of performance management doctrine. In addition, there is little evidence that this information is being used among decision makers in the governor’s office or in the legislature....

  10. 4 Explaining the Partial Adoption of Performance Management Reforms
    (pp. 58-74)

    The previous chapter presents two puzzles. First of all, why do elected officials advocate for the creation of performance information that they rarely use? A related puzzle is why performance management reforms were adopted in the manner that they were. Performance management doctrine argues for an increased focus on results while providing managers greater authority over their fiscal and human resources. Chapter 3 demonstrates rapid advances on the focus-on-results half of the reform equation—through strategic planning, performance measurement, and customer service assessment—but a neglect of managerial flexibility. Why was there a partial adoption of performance management doctrine?


  11. 5 Explaining the Implementation of Performance Management Reforms
    (pp. 75-94)

    Reforms work in unanticipated ways, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Research on previous performance management portray pro forma implementation and eventual abandonment.¹ These negative assessments are partly because of how we judge performance management—we tend to look at decision making at the political level and, as the last chapter suggested, there is little evidence of performance information use there.

    However, part of the hope for performance management is that lower-level bureaucrats would take the reform to make their organization more strategic and efficient. There is less research on this front. Findings from the three case studies examined in this chapter...

  12. 6 The Interactive Dialogue Model of Performance Information Use
    (pp. 95-117)

    When we were asked to do a problem in our childhood math classes, numbers offered simplicity. There was one correct answer, which we found or missed. Performance data is given the same reassuring status of clarity and objectivity.¹ But this understanding of performance information is usually overly simplistic and incorrect. Performance data is ambiguous and subject to disagreement. Performance information is not definitive, and interested actors interact in a dialogue to establish its meaning. This insight informs the next three chapters, which develop the interactive dialogue model of performance information use.

    Why interactive? Why dialogue? Dialogue works as an alternative...

  13. 7 Performance Management under George W. Bush
    (pp. 118-138)

    This chapter looks to performance management reforms at the federal level to offer examples of the interactive dialogue model in action.¹ Why look to the federal level? The federal level of government offers an example of both the present and the possible future of performance management in the states and is of interest in its own right. The Government Performance and Results Act, passed in 1993, acted as a template for state governments seeking to foster their own version of performance management. GPRA required agencies to undertake strategic planning every three years and to provide annual performance reports and performance...

  14. 8 PART and the Interactive Dialogue Model
    (pp. 139-162)

    This chapter attempts to use the early experience with PART to further illustrate the interactive dialogue model. I examine the potential of PART to create an evidence-based dialogue. Many stakeholders consider PART to be subjective, which makes them less likely to accept its claims. Even without these disagreements there is much ambiguity associated with the link between PART assessments and budgeting, as demonstrated by an experiment where subjects examined the logic behind OMB recommendations.

    OMB staff argue that PART is designed to elicit an evidence-based dialogue with agency staff and to generate a variety of recommendations related to management, funding,...

  15. 9 Dialogue Routines and Learning Forums
    (pp. 163-188)

    Even if elected officials rarely use performance information, performance management advocates hope that managers use this data. Chapter 5 found that agency managers did use performance information, although not always predicted by performance management doctrine. Having introduced the interactive dialogue model, this chapter revisits the states to examine how agency managers use information.¹ The interactive dialogue model suggests that the potential for goal-based learning routines is higher within agencies than in other settings because they contain a relatively homogenous group of decision makers who share similar goals. In two of the three states examined, managers used dialogue routines to improve...

  16. 10 Rethinking Performance Management
    (pp. 189-210)

    This evidence presented in this book falls between two traditional perspectives on performance management. The first view is that performance management is an unambiguously good idea with clear benefits. The second is that it has little real impact, engendering little other than compliance as bureaucrats wait for the next wave of reforms. The current approach to performance management in the United States is problematic but fostering some benefits. Efforts to create governmentwide performance information systems certainly have not lived up to the standards of advocates and have done little to change how senior public officials make decisions. On the other...

  17. Appendix A: Interview Protocol for State Interviews
    (pp. 211-213)
  18. Appendix B: State Backgrounds—Political Culture, Budgeting Practices, Performance Management History, and Corrections Policies
    (pp. 214-220)
  19. Appendix C: Program Assessment Rating Tool
    (pp. 221-224)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 225-240)
  21. Index
    (pp. 241-250)