Public Sector Performance: Management, Motivation, and Measurement

Public Sector Performance: Management, Motivation, and Measurement

Public Sector Performance: Management, Motivation, and Measurement

Public Sector Performance: Management, Motivation, and Measurement

Synopsis

Taken as a whole, this volume provides a performance compass for today's public managers, helping them to reconstruct the public confidence in, and support of, government.

Excerpt

Richard C. Kearney and Evan M. Berman

This book, Public Sector Performance, brings together articles whose ideas continue to drive and shape public management today.

Government performance is important to citizens and public managers alike. Citizens expect the law to be enforced, the environment protected, labor health and safety laws obeyed, and a plethora of goals to be accomplished. Against the background of growing citizen expectations, and the widespread belief that a performance deficit exists at all levels of government, public managers have continued to develop new ways to meet public objectives. Each period in U.S. public administration has seen the development of new strategies to improve productivity, largely in response to challenges of the times. Examples include new ways of organizing work, managing quality, and motivating employees. Many of these efforts are currently placed within the realms of New Public Management and Reinvention. People who work in government organizations are seeking to improve their capabilities, approaches, and results and to transform their enterprises into high- performance organizations.

Although the approaches are "new," most performance strategies are grounded in enduring beliefs and core principles. These include the possibility of determining outcomes, the practicality of scientific analysis applied to management, and the pressing need for increased responsiveness and accountability. Such principles link past and present performance management efforts and provide, quite simply, a compass for managers today--even as they address the unique challenges of our times. Perhaps it is so that each generation rediscovers essential truths. This volume presents certain performance-related verities in ready-to-use format, encompassing enduring, time-tested beliefs that are now rightly regarded as a cornerstone of professional public management. Their application promises to help reconstruct the public trust in and support for government that is so needed today.

In sum, these articles are essential reading for any public manager who is interested in improving public organizations by "getting the job done."

What Is Performance?

Performance in this context is defined as managing public programs for outcomes. Managers use public resources and mandates to ensure that . . .

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