Diagnosing Performance Management and Performance Budgeting Systems: A Case Study of the U.S. Navy

By Webb, Natalie J.; Candreva, Philip J. | Public Finance and Management, July 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Diagnosing Performance Management and Performance Budgeting Systems: A Case Study of the U.S. Navy


Webb, Natalie J., Candreva, Philip J., Public Finance and Management


ABSTRACT

We present here a case study of an organization within the U.S. Navy that created a new organizational construct and performance management system. We explore the issues faced by naval leaders as they attempt to use their performance information to make resource allocation decisions at the sub-organization level, and drive budgets at the organization and service (navy) level. We diagnose the practical problems a government organization encounters when implementing a performance management system, to include their influence on budgets, and make recommendations for public sector performance budgeting organizations. This case confirms challenges noted in the literature associated with performance management and performance budgeting systems. We offer recommendations for public officials considering such endeavors.

1. INTRODUCTION

In a recent manuscript, Schick (2008, p. 2) states, "the literature and practices of performance budgeting have been too long on exhortation and too short on diagnosis". We present here a diagnostic case of a performance management system in the U.S. Navy, examined through the perspective of those exhortations. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of the system and the issues faced by naval leaders as they attempt to use their performance information to formulate budget requests and execute budgets. We diagnose many of the practical problems a government organization encounters in designing and using a performance management system, especially when it seeks to extend the system to performance budgeting. In so doing, we provide empirical evidence of many of the findings in the literature, contribute to the understanding of how a performance-based management system directs managers, and how such a system can (or cannot) be used to implement a performance-based budgeting system.

We examine the surface warfare enterprise (SWE), an organizational construct that is part of a larger "Navy Enterprise" initiative.1 Broadly, the SWE is a construct that seeks to link various organizations involved in policy decisions and implementation of policy, including defining needs for and constructing, operating, and employing naval surface ships. We concentrate on the Naval Surface Force and its role in manning, training, equipping, and sustaining the existing surface fleet of 162 ships. The ultimate outcome for navy ships is how they perform if and when they execute a mission for the nation. SWE leaders focus on preparing individual ships for these potential missions. For the SWE, the final measure of performance is a "warship ready for tasking" across multiple possible missions, an output with a quality measure (Robinson, 2007, p. 28; Hatry, 2001). The SWE designed its performance management system to support the process of making ships ready and it is the expectation of Navy leaders (which we refute) that the system can also drive the budgeting process.2

While a component of a navy may seem like an unusual subject for a case study if one hopes to generalize findings, there are attributes of this case germane to many public organizations that struggle with performance based management and budgeting. The surface force provides an outcome (readiness) that is difficult to define and measure like other societal goals such as justice or public health. It provides an outcome whose causal factors are not clearly understood, like crime or poverty. Work processes have both routine and non-routine components conditioned by externalities. The SWE depends on the support and cooperation of other organizations to attain desired outcomes. Its functions and levels of resources are determined by political processes and not solely through rational management. Given the drive towards performance-based budgeting, this study is not only timely but of interest to practitioners and policymakers alike.

In the next section, we review the performance management and performance budgeting literatures relevant to our case study. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Diagnosing Performance Management and Performance Budgeting Systems: A Case Study of the U.S. Navy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.