John Halligan, Cláudia Sarrico, Mary Lee Rhodes, On the road to performance governance in the public domain?, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 61, 3, 2012, 224 - 234
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 61 3
Structured Abstract: Purpose – This article assesses how performance management in the public domain has evolved over the
last several years both in terms of theory and practice in selected countries. The paper also acts as the editorial for the special
issue of the journal.
Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on Bouckaert and Halligan (2008) as a framework for analysing performance
management in the public sector, this paper reviews findings from their work (on the evolution of cases from six countries), a recent
survey of seven countries from four continents, and three additional case studies at the micro, meso and macro levels of analysis.
Findings – We find that the evidence for progress towards a ‘performance governance’ regime in the public domain is mixed, with
little progress in countries outside the Anglo-American or Nordic examples studied by Bouckaert and Halligan. Several reasons for
this are suggested from the recent survey (in this issue) including the impact of public sector values and the role of elites. However,
case studies of particular sectors in countries with limited progress on performance management in general (Portugal and Ireland)
suggest that significant inroads can nevertheless be made along the trajectory proposed by Bouckaert and Halligan at micro and
Originality/value – The paper draws together evidence from various examples of performance management in the public domain to
critically assess and extend existing theory and to suggest alternative trajectories on the road to performance governance.
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