Performance Information in the Public Sector How it is Used Synopsis
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.
Performance Information in the Public Sector How it is Used Press Reviews
'This book is a landmark in helping move discussion of performance information beyond issues mainly of design to consider also whether and how information is used by public organisations and broader stakeholders. The editors are to be commended for bringing together a range of material by international experts in one place in a well written book that is accessible to both academics and policymakers.' - Oliver James, Professor of Political Science, University of Exeter, UK '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 'The editors Van Dooren and Van de Walle have made an important contribution to the literature on the use of performance information in the public sector. The book will primarily be of interest to academics and students of public management, and performance measurement in particular, with much food for thought provided by the material included. There is much in the book of interest to the policy-maker also. All in all, a most welcome addition to the literature.' - Richard Boyle, Institute of Public Administration, Dublin, Public Administration vol. 88 ''Performance' is like 'coordination' or 'transparency' - everybody is in favour and you cannot seriously argue against it. But if it is so popular, why is it so difficult to measure and to draw managerial or political conclusions from this kind of information? This book offers theoretical insights from sociology, political and management science, and practical experiences from all over the world in order to explain how and especially why performance measurement is used, or more often not used, and how this state of affairs could be improved. It is by now a widely used textbook and a paperback edition is therefore highly appreciated.' - Werner Jann, Professor for Political Science, Administration and Organization at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at Potsdam University, Germany