To examine the paradoxes of optimisation in public service management.
Considers the managerial philosophy of target setting as an organisational control and examines its resulting consequences.
That while the temperate use of the philosophy has its place, awareness of its limitations will control the damage done by its uncritical acceptance.
By discussing target setting and its susceptibility to a range of difficulties in the public service management raises awareness of its limitations.
Considers an important concern about the use of target setting in the public and private domains.
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