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Organizational context, use of performance management practices and their effects on organizational performance: an empirical look at these interrelationships

Patrícia Gomes (CICF, School of Management, IPCA, Barcelos, Portugal)
Sílvia M. Mendes (Department of International Relations and Public Administration, Universidade do Minho Escola de Economia e Gestao, Braga, Portugal)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 6 May 2022

Issue publication date: 30 October 2023




This paper investigates organizational performance effects by using performance management (PM) practices (both quality and internal managerial practices) and the moderating effects of the organizational context (cultural aspects and government pressures) on this relationship.


Interrelationships are studied based on data collected by a unique survey administered to Portuguese government agencies. A combination of the economic theory (and the New Public Management [NPM] assumptions) with the institutional theory (inspired by the old institutional economy [OIE] and the new institutional sociology [NIS]) provides a plausibly adequate theoretical framework.


These support the hypothesis about the positive effects of PM practices use (both internal and quality-oriented practices) on organizational performance which validates economic and NPM assumptions. The regression results also show that performance would improve if PM practices were aligned with the organizational culture (at least partially). Looking at the moderating effects, the study finds that agencies more oriented to the use of internal management practices aligned with a citizen-centred approach would have improvements in internal performance, reinforcing OIE assumptions. In addition, findings confirm expectations about the insignificant impact on performance when agencies use PM practices under great government pressures (NIS in the isomorphism perspective).

Research limitations/implications

The limitations appointed in the literature regarding the use of the survey method also apply to this study.


This paper innovates by the research on the interrelationships between the organizational context, the use of PM practices and the organizational performance. The use of different theories in a complementary way (economic and institutional theories) in the explanation of performance consequences provides new insights into the body of performance management in the public sector.



The authors are very grateful for the anonymous comments received under the peer review process in the IJPPM and contributions received in different academic events were the paper has been presented. This study was conducted at the Research Center on Accounting and Taxation/IPCA (UIDB/04043/2020 and UIDP/04043/2020) and at the Research Center in Political Science/University of Minho (UIDB/CPO/00758/2020) and was funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through national funds.


Gomes, P. and Mendes, S.M. (2023), "Organizational context, use of performance management practices and their effects on organizational performance: an empirical look at these interrelationships", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 72 No. 8, pp. 2467-2495.



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