Organizational Assessment and Improvement in the Public Sector: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Organizational Assessment and Improvement in the Public Sector

1st Edition

By Kathleen M. Immordino


248 pages | 59 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781420084207
pub: 2009-10-13
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Calls for performance measures and metrics sound good, but public sector organizations often lack the tools required to assess the organization as a whole and create true change.In order to implement an integrated cycle of assessment, planning, and improvement, government agencies at all levels need a usable framework for organizational assessment that speaks to their unique needs. Organizational Assessment and Improvement in the Public Sector provides that framework, an understanding of assessment itself, and a methodology for assessment focused on the public sector.

The book introduces the concept of organizational assessment, its importance, and its significance in public sector organizations. It addresses the organizational theory that underlies assessment, including change management, organizational and individual learning, and organizational development. Building on this, the author focuses on the processes and demonstrates how the communication that results from an assessment process can create a widely accepted case for change. She presents a model grounded in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program criteria but adapted for the culture of government organizations. She also addresses the criteria that form the basis for assessment and implementation and provides examples and best practices.

Facing decreasing budgets and an increasing demand for services, government agencies must increase their capabilities, maximize their available fiscal and human resources, and increase their effectiveness and efficiency. They often operate in an atmosphere that prizes effectiveness but measures it in silos assigned to individual programs and a structure that encourages people to do more with less while systematically discouraging efficiency. Stressing the significant and important differences between a business and a government, this book supplies the knowledge and tools necessary to create a culture of assessment in government organizations at all levels.


Stressing the significant and important differences between business and government, this book supplies the needed knowledge and tools to create a culture of assessment in government organizations at all levels.

Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and Environment, September 2010

The author uses the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award framework as the underpinning for her public sector assessment and improvement (PSAI) model. The model is designed specifically to accommodate the culture, language and needs of government agencies. … This is a step-by-step manual for improving government agencies, and it provides a clear and practical approach to organizational assessment and improvement in government. Ifyou are serious about improving your organization, you should read this book.

—Jim Kotterman, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, in QP Reviews, October 2010

Table of Contents

Organizational Assessment and the Public Sector

The Demand for Effectiveness and Efficiency

Organizational Assessment

Assessment and Organizational Development

Challenges in Public Sector Assessment and Improvement

Opportunities in Public Sector Assessment



Assessment as a Communication Process

Communication Processes in Self-Assessment



Applying Assessment Practices in the Public Sector

Current State of Assessment in Government and How It Has Developed over Time Structured Self-Assessment Models

Adapting Existing Assessment Processes for the Public Sector Assessment



The Public Sector Assessment and Improvement Model


The Human Factor Group: Interpersonal and Communication Competence

The Operational Factors: Enabling the Work of the Organization


Assessment: Applying the Information Learned


Implementing a Self-Assessment Program

Step 1: Preparing for an Assessment

Step 2: Conducting the Assessment Process

Step 3: Following Through on Outcomes



Assessment, Improvement, and the Process of Organizational Change

Change Efforts in the Public Sector

Identifying Barriers to Change

The Process of Organizational Change

Understanding the Scope of Change

Organizational Learning and Personal Learning: Creating an Internal Case for Change

Creating an External Case for Change: Constituent Involvement



Case Studies and Best Practices in Assessing Public Sector Organizations

Case Studies



The Future of Assessment

The Need to Identify and Disseminate Best Practices in Government Assessment

The Need for Continued Adaptation of Assessment Models

Identifying Tools that Facilitate Assessment Processes

Finding New Ways to Encourage Governments to Participate and to Engage Their Staff

Increased Recognition of the Role of Constituents in Assessment

Linking Assessment Processes to Strategic Planning and Budgeting

Finding Ways to Sustain a Culture of Assessment that Do Not Rely on a Single Champion




Appendix A: The Public Sector Assessment and Improvement Model

Appendix B: The Public Sector Assessment and Improvement Model—Short Form

Appendix C: Exercises

Appendix D: Tools for Organizational Change Efforts

About the Series

ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy

Founded in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the premier professional organization for public administration, dedicated to advancing its art, science, teaching and practice. The ASPA book series provides expert information on a range of public administration issues, each authored by a leader in the field. Series Editor David Rosenbloom is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at American University, USA.

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