Managing for Results in State Government

Managing for Results in State Government

Managing for Results in State Government

Managing for Results in State Government

Synopsis

Managing for Results is a model of organizational reform that relies on performance measurement, strategic planning, the linking of systems to improve performance, benchmarks, and a focus on public accountabilty. This book studies the implementation of Managing for Results on six states, who were identified by the U.S. General Accounting Office as leaders of internal reinvention efforts. Government and business practitioners, as well as scholars and researchers of public administration and policy, will find this book useful in assessment, selection, and measurement of state-level reform efforts.

Excerpt

Ongoing dynamics of American politics have brought about a resurgence of enduring challenges for state governments. Throughout the 1990s, state governments have struggled to meet demanding old and new responsibilities (Van Horn 1993). Boom years of relatively increased state revenues witnessed in the 1980s were replaced by years of budget deficits, tax increases, and program reductions. Federal legislators continued to pass laws identifying the states as responsible for an array of public problems, but without providing required funding. According to Van Horn (p. 2), "State officials and institutions now are being tested like never before." With the added responsibilities has come a need for added accountability. the question is no longer whether state bureaucracies shall be accountable but, rather, to whom (Gormley 1993). in addition to accountability, serving as keynotes to internal reinvention efforts is legislation intended to improve the inner workings of public organizations. At the state level, this legislation revolves around the implementation of strategic planning, performance measurement, and systems alignment. in short, it is oriented to an old ideal, "managing for results."

An answer proposed by states is to legislate managing for results with the underlying implication that the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of state government will improve by having agencies focus their management practices on the results, or outcomes, that state programs strive to achieve. Ultimately, public satisfaction, availability of service, and cost reductions will demonstrate the benefits of managing for results. in the implementation of this theory, performance measures are used for two primary purposes: accountability to stakeholders in order to improve the perception of government; and management, which, through the collection of performance information, aims to improve government. in state government, two measurement models surface: the statewide benchmarks and the individual agencies' performance measures, leading to questions regarding use and linkages. This leads to the questions explored in this book: (1) To what extent does a relationship exist between the goal of the program and the measurement model that surfaces?

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