To discuss some of the reasons why performance measurement systems in public services can lead to dysfunctional consequences even when people operate with the best of intentions.
The paper draws together literature from the UK public sector, from writers in performance measurement and from cultural insights in anthropology to understand why some of these perverse effects occur.
Though many reasons are cited for public service performance measurement regimes, it is clear that control aspects dominate the others. This, when allied to an unthinking use of cybernetic metaphors, is what can lead to dysfunctionality.
The paper should appeal to those who wish to improve the performance of performance measurement systems in public services and to those who wish to understand why things can go wrong.
Pidd, M. (2005), "Perversity in public service performance measurement", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 54 No. 5/6, pp. 482-493. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410400510604601Download as .RIS
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