Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

An Evaluation of the Performance of Public Sector Organizations: Case of Pakistan

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

An Evaluation of the Performance of Public Sector Organizations: Case of Pakistan

Article excerpt

The World Bank (1998) reported that the technical competency of civil servants in Pakistan has been declining, leading to the steady erosion in the capacity and technical skills of civil servants. The study highlighted that civil servants have been unable to cope with their increased responsibilities and challenges and were ill-equipped to assume new and more complex roles as the role of the state in Pakistan has expanded and changed over the years.

In Pakistan, critics of in-service training often have attributed poor performance and delivery of services of public sector organizations (PSOs) to the inadequacies of Public Sector Training Institutes (PSTIs). However, there is little research to support this belief. Official records of PSTIs (1996 - 2005) illustrate criticisms by the trainees in the end-of-course evaluations that most of the training programs are routine and offer unsystematic training on government procedures. The World Bank's (2003)^sup 1^ report also supports these criticisms. In fact, a main problem is that, when these institutions were established, the development of a proper system to evaluate their performance was not considered. Since an evaluation of training programs and the training institutes themselves that relies on feedback from former trainees seemingly has never been conducted in Pakistan, whether these Institutes have served their primary objectives cannot be verified.

Organizational theorists differ somewhat on qualities that constitute organizational performance (OP). This performance has been described in terms of (i) realization of objectives, outputs, success and growth i.e., effectiveness (Chandler, 1962; Cherrington, 1989; Etzioni, 1960, 1964; Georgopoulos & Tannenbaum, 1971; Katz & Kahn, 1966; Peterson, 1998; Peterson, Gijsbers, & Wilks, 2003; Robbins, 1987; Thompson, 1967); (ii) inputs, resource utilization i.e., efficiency (Georgopoulos & Tannenbaum, 1971; Katz & Kahn, 1978; Peterson et al., 2003; Robbins, 1987, 1990; Warmington, Lupton, & Gribbin, 1977); and, (iii) environment, interdependence and stakeholders' satisfaction i.e., relevancy (Beer, 1994; Kemal, 1990; Lawrence & Lorsch, 1969; Peterson et al., 2003; Warmington et al., 1977). Thus, there is little consensus on how to conceptualize, explain, and measure OP, which suggests there is no appropriate conceptual framework for understanding qualities that constitutes as well as influences OP. Thus, evaluation of OP becomes an arduous and complex task and suggests the concept of OP is incomplete. Some concepts are even contradictory. For instance, some focused on inputs and use of resources (Katz & Kahn, 1978; Peterson et al., 2003; Robbins, 1987; Warmington et al., 1977); in contrast, others emphasized on outputs and the realization of objectives (Chandler, 1962; Cherrington, 1989; Etzioni, 1960, 1964; Katz & Kahn, 1966; Peterson et al., 2003; Thompson, 1967) as OP metrics. The measures that are generally missing in these definitions are outcomes (e.g. impact, quality of services). In short, researchers are grappling with the (i) definition of OP; (ii) criteria and performance indicators for measuring OP; (iii) level of analysis for measuring OP; and, (iv) methodologies for measuring it.

Seashore, Lawler, Mirvis, and Cammann (1983) suggested that measurement of OP in the PSOs presents an extraordinary problem arising from the uniqueness of the required performance in each organization and the idiosyncrasies of definitions, categorization and measurement. In other words, inconsistent standard of performance in the PSOs made attempts to define or distinguish between high and low level of performance difficult. Kloot (as cited in Kuppusamy, 2006) offers a different explanation, one that public sectors in most developing nations have few performance measures. He further claims that the public perception of the performances of public managers and organizations rarely are evaluated. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.