Performance Management in the Public Sector

By Wouter Van Dooren, Geert Bouckaert, John Halligan

© 2010 – Routledge

202 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415371056
pub: 2010-05-26
US Dollars$53.95
Hardback: 9780415371049
pub: 2010-05-26
US Dollars$175.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Tackling the key topics of reform and modernization, this important new book systematically examines performance in public management systems. The authors present this seminal subject in an informative and accessible manner, tackling some of the most important themes.

Performance Management in the Public Sector takes as its point of departure a broad definition of performance to redefine major and basic mechanisms in public administration, both theoretically and in practice. The book:

  • situates performance in some of the current public management debates;
  • discusses the many definitions of ‘performance’ and how it has become one of the contested agendas of public management;
  • examines measurement, incorporation and use of performance information; and
  • explores the challenges and future directions of performance management.

A must-read for any student or practitioner of public management, this core text will prove invaluable to anyone wanting to improve their understanding of performance management in the public sector.


"This book offers an approachable and intelligent guide to a complex subject. It skillfully uses examples and insights from across the globe to illustrate and enliven our understanding of performance management. Practitioners will welcome the clearly-established learning directives and key points that frame each chapter. For scholars, the book forcefully directs attention to key research issues, most pressingly the use of performance data." - Donald Moynihan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

"This book provides distilled wisdom for public managers on how to frame, understand, and act on a performance management strategy for their organizations. I’ve seen in real life some of the dilemmas they raise in their book. The context and solutions they offer are practical and useful." - John M. Kamensky, senior fellow, IBM Center for The Business of Government and former deputy director of the U.S. National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Defining the Concepts 3. The History of Performance Management 4. Performance Measurement 5. Incorporation of Performance Information 6. The use of Performance Information 7. Users 8. Non-use 9. The Effects of Using Performance Information 10. The Future of Performance Management

About the Authors

Wouter Van Dooren is Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Political Science, University of Antwerp, Belgium, and Research Fellow at the Public Management Institute at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He researches performance measurement and management.

Geert Bouckaert is Director and Professor of Public Management at the Public Management Institute at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He is President of the European Group for Public Administration and he researches performance management, financial management and public sector reform.

John Halligan is Research Professor of Government and Public Administration at the University of Canberra, Australia. His research interests are comparative public governance and management, performance management and public sector reform.

About the Series

Routledge Masters in Public Management

Routledge Masters in Public Management is a series of original texts which offers students and practitioners a concise, coordinated and comprehensive learning resource.

The series benefits from a coordinated format, including the use of such pedagogical features as learning points, text boxes, annotated further reading and questions for further discussion. Each volume in the series stands in its own right as a textbook which is essential reading for a particular module in a public management degree scheme. Taken together, the series offers an integrated and up-to-date collection of core textbooks and supplementary reading that can provide the backbone of any student’s study of public management – whether based upon an MBA or MPA programme, a stand-alone course or through a period of individual study. Taking an expert look at an increasingly important and complex discipline, this is a groundbreaking series.

The resources represented in this series go beyond the “toolkit” or “recipe” format which does not reflect the way working in the public sector actually happens. Rather, the series encourages the reader to develop the core managerial skills and critical thinking required to excel in this discipline.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities