Public Performance & Management Review

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Print ISSN: 1530-9576
Publications
Web site adoption
E-government strategic plan
Perceived impacts
Interactive services planned
In this article we explore the short and largely undocumented history of electronic government, discuss the literature of e-government at the local government level, and document the adoption and sophistication of e- government among US local governments. We employ data from a survey conducted in the winter of 2000 to examine local government adoption of electronic government. We compare the results of that survey to a normative model of e-government maturity. We have found that the emergence of electronic government at the local level is still in its formative stages. Local e- government offerings tended to be more basic when compared to the normative model although many local governments indicate that they have plans to develop more sophisticated offerings in the future. E-government adoption also generally tracks well with previously documented patterns of technology adoption.
 
We analyze four (4) frameworks for assessing the success of government reforms of accounting and budgeting systems and apply our analysis to performance budgeting reforms in U.S. states. We conclude that performance measures are not useful for the legislative problem of allocating resources among disparate goals, but they are useful for improving the quality and reducing the cost of providing services. Two of the frameworks come from the budgetary literature and focus on allocations (Outcomes view and Process view). The other two come from the accounting literature and focus on incentives among key actors (Monitoring view and Signaling view). The actors considered in this study are Voters, Legislators, Government Managers and the Media. Our theoretical analysis suggests that the four frameworks are often complementary rather than mutually exclusive; however, the Signaling view may provide the best framework for two reasons: 1) it provides insights into the net costs and benefits of adopting a reform and 2) it provides insights into policy suggestions that are likely to increase the adoption of beneficial reforms. Three policy suggestions are given: 1) Legislators should focus on incentives for managers to report performance measures, 2) Performance budgeting should be done on a comparable basis across states, and 3) Influential actors such as legislators and the media should be studied in greater detail.
 
Traditional research on trustee effectiveness focuses on board attributes like size and demographics; however, we argue that networks provide a better mechanism to consider the implications of boards on resource procurement. Our research utilizes board of trustee interlocks from a sample of 523 nonprofit organizations that specialize in assisting the homeless. These organizations rely heavily on government and community funding and we use interlock data from 1999 and 2003 to predict first time grant acquisition in 2006. Our findings suggest that board of trustee interlocks provide nonprofits with access to information, legitimacy, and ultimately increase one’s likelihood of receiving a grant.
 
Ordinary Least Squares Regression Results for individual Health-Care Services 
Ordinary Least Squares Regression Results, Local Health-Care Systems 
Citizen surveys have been increasingly employed to evaluate the outcome of public service delivery. However, the effects of respondents’ demographic characteristics on their subjective evaluations inevitably raise questions about the fairness of such investigations. This study views the accumulation of citizen perception as a production process and proposes a generic model for adjusting for demographic effects from a production function perspective. The paper uses household survey data from the World Bank for five of China’s cities to examine the efficacy of the proposed model. The results confirm that most demographic characteristics, including age, health status, education, and sex, consistently have a statistically significant effect on satisfaction scores. Furthermore, after I adjust for respondent characteristics, the city rankings change in some satisfaction settings, making the rankings more reflective of reality. The power of the proposed model is further justified by adjusting the satisfaction scores of five cities’ households for the TV program Spring Festival Party, an identical service to each household that is provided by the single public service agent, CCTV.
 
Globally business improvement districts have proliferated as the most influential public-private mechanisms for revitalizing business districts and promoting infrastructure improvement projects. Community improvement districts in Georgia share the same characteristics of business improvement districts (BIDs) as in other states or countries. The Georgia constitution enables the state legislature to create BIDs, called community improvement districts (CIDs) in Georgia, in any city or county or any combination thereof to deliver public services. This analysis explores the CIDs' governance structures, financing mechanisms, and promotion strategies through CIDs' provision in various projects and their impacts in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The paper begins with a historical synopsis, followed by a discussion of governance, intergovernmental relations, accountability, and effectiveness as these pertain to the informal coalition of 13 CIDs in the Atlanta Metro Alliance that represent the heart of Georgia's high-revenue business community. In conclusion, the paper provides some policy recommendations on how to use CIDs as a unique tool for infrastructure financing and economic development.
 
As public problems have become more and more complex, there has been a realization that individual government agencies, working alone, can no longer handle these "wicked issues." Instead, there has been a growing emphasis on replacing categorical or program-based funding arrangements with more integrated efforts. These efforts have been the focus of recent work on collaborative endeavors involving a variety of network arrangements. The difficulty has been that although these types of collaborative efforts are increasing in number, a related growing concern is whether such arrangements have been any more effective than those involving single-agency efforts. As a result, interest has increased in evaluating these types of efforts. However, the evaluation measures used are those that apply to individual organizations, rather than network arrangements that often include not only representatives of public sector organizations but also representatives of nonprofit and private organizations as well as individuals and groups representing community interests. New ways are needed of evaluating performance in these network arrangements.
 
“Being stuck in traffic doesn’t have to be a way of life.” This beautiful prologue came from the Elevated Transportation Company (ETC) board’s letter in the ETC Seattle Popular Monorail Plan, one of the largest public works projects ever proposed in the city of Seattle. Three years after this proposal, the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) was shut down by voters on November 8, 2005. This paper critically analyzes the SMP through the lens of stakeholder theory. This perspective provides valuable insights into the failure of the SMP. We theorize that SMP’s failure might have been avoided had its leadership recognized the many stakeholders that had power over the plan and, more importantly, the dynamic changes in relationships between the stakeholders. Failure might also have been avoided by managing conflicts in stakeholders’ expectations. Specifically, we use stakeholder theory to develop four propositions that are relevant in the context of large-scale technology projects. One, organizations are more likely to succeed when have effective mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating interactions between stakeholders and changes in their positions in relation to their strategic innovation projects. Two, organizations are more likely to succeed when they tradeoff the conflicts in expectations and interests that stakeholders hold. Three, organizations are more likely to implement complex technology projects by understanding stakeholders’ expectations and the interplay between stakeholders. Four, organizations are more likely to achieve their innovative projects when they define stakeholders in terms of their power over their strategic objectives. The paper makes a contribution both to the research and practice of major technological infrastructure projects, strategic innovations, and government technology management.
 
Comparison of Performance Indicators in Policing 
This article provides an analysis of the empirical and theoretical research on performance measurement in the field of policing. The primary purpose is to ascertain the degree to which measures of social equity are relied on as performance indicators. The literature tells us that social equity indicators do exist, but they remain marginal. Rather, performance measures for effectiveness are largely prominent, whereas efficiency indicators occupy a less influential place. Relying heavily on effectiveness as well as efficiency indicators at the expense of social equity has serious repercussions, particularly in policing. Suggestions for future research are offered that stress the importance of the need for a balanced mix of performance indicators that includes social equity.
 
When numerous stakeholders, constituencies, and service requests are competing for limited city agency resources, administrators need to decide to whom and how to be responsive. A review of literature on bureaucratic responsiveness suggests five possible determining factors for agencies facing conflicting demands: (a) organizational culture, (b) organizational leadership, (c) organizational rules and structure, (d) dependency on a stakeholder making a demand, and (e) the extent of external control placed on the agency. Based on an action research study of City of Los Angeles neighborhood councils and departments, this article suggests areas for future research on these and other possible influences on responsiveness in a collaborative context. Exploratory findings suggest that each factor may be of some importance, but future research is necessary.
 
Scholars have emphasized networks as a new agenda or a necessary tool for solving public problems and research on networks have been actively conducted. However, little attention has been given to how networking partners are selected and activated. This question is critical when a networking partner is voluntarily chosen. To fill this gap in knowledge, this study proposes four possible scenarios for the selection of networking partners based on the intention to network with a potential partner and the activation of networking with that partner. Results show that the scenario of not-intended-but-nonetheless-activated networking brings the highest increase in perceived success of collaboration while the scenario of intended-and-activated networking results in the second highest among the four scenarios. However, it was also found that the scenario of not-intended-but-nonetheless-activated networking is less likely in the real world where public managers are asked to strategically find beneficial partner candidates and to achieve the activation of networking with those candidates. This study expects to promote understanding of the process of networking partner selection.
 
The incredible diffusion of the Internet is ushering in a new era of possibilities for nonprofit organizations to engage with and be responsive to their core stakeholders, yet little is known of the range and extent of such practices. To enhance our understanding of these increasingly important yet understudied phenomena, we conduct a comprehensive study of 117 community foundations’ Web-based stakeholder responsiveness practices. Our examination of four key dimensions of online responsiveness revealed a number of best practices and areas of untapped potential. We argue that online stakeholder responsiveness is increasingly a strategic concern; to successfully fulfill their mission, organizations thus need to seriously consider the amount and interactivity of the content they target at each of their core constituents.
 
Administrative reform has led to a strong increase in the use of performance assessment instruments in the public sector. However, this has also led to several unintended consequences, such as the performance paradox, tunnel vision, and “analysis paralysis.” These unintended consequences can reduce the quality of the knowledge about actual levels of performance or even negatively affect performance. Examples can be found in all policy sectors. The authors argue that certain characteristics of the public sector–such as ambiguous policy objectives, discretionary authority of street–level bureaucrats, simultaneous production and consumption of services, and the disjunction of costs and revenues–increase the risk of a performance paradox, either unintentionally or deliberately. Performance assessment should therefore take the special characteristics of the public sector into account and develop systems that can handle contested and multiple performance indicators, striking a balance in the degree of “measure pressure” and minimizing dysfunctional effects.
 
Strategic Service Partnerships (SSPs) are complex Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) that have become increasingly popular amongst British local authorities. However, SSP’s remain poorly understood. The existing research on these partnerships has neglected to locate SSPs within the wider discussion of public-private partnering and has tended to describe the operations of SSPs rather than considering the process that underpins their creation. This paper considers these issues and presents an exploratory case study of the efforts of an English local authority to establish an SSP.
 
Cost-benefit analysis has been used with some success at the federal level for many years, but states have generally made limited use of this approach. They are now showing growing interest in evidence-based policy and budget decision making, due in part to their ongoing deep budget difficulties. Several promising developments have increased the probability of success, including methodological advances and the development of user-friendly cost-benefit analysis models by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. These have been integrated into Washington State's policy and budget processes for more than 15 years. The Results First initiative of the Pew Center on the States is helping other states to implement and customize these models. While the effort is just beginning, early outcomes are encouraging.
 
Public performance management has not been widely implemented in the United States despite the burgeoning research literature on the topic. This article cites selected research findings to illustrate the relatively limited usage of performance information by federal, state, and local governments, a situation substantiated by findings (as interpreted in the article) from three recently published monographs and by the direct observations of their authors. A summary and critique of these books is supplemented by questions about comparative analysis in public performance management research, the relationship of performance management to labor relations policy, and the actual utility of research for practitioners. A more narrowly prescribed approach to public performance management in keeping with the principal conclusions of the reviewed books is recommended.
 
New Public Management set off a new wave of performance management efforts in government. Recent performance literature has documented the shortcomings of performance management and provided recommendations for improvement. This emerging-issues article revisits the literature, making a distinction between recommendations for better implementation of what are seen as essentially good systems (single-loop learning) and recommendations that target the performance management systems themselves (double-loop learning). It is argued that in complex settings, performance management may benefit from other ways of doing performance management and needs to be more agile, more decentralized, and more political.
 
The innovative behavior of employees is an essential component of successful organizational change, especially during an emergency. COVID 19 is changing the working lives of those employees delivering emergency services, especially healthcare. This study contributes to the search for antecedents of employees’ innovative behavior because most organizational change fails because of poor “buy-in” from them. This paper uses Conservation of Resources theory to examine the impact of Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC) on employees’ personal psychological coping resources, wellbeing and innovative behavior during the pandemic. PSC refers to the policies and practices that affect workers’ psychological health and safety and captures the extent to which management prioritizes performance ahead of psychological health and safety. The sample comprised 163 Australian doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Statistical analysis included ANOVAs and structural equation modeling. The findings show that the employees’ perception of PSC, personal psychological resources and wellbeing explains over half of their innovative behavior and PSC and personal psychological resources explain over two-thirds of their wellbeing. Hence, if the public wants transformation, then strategies must involve building employees’ psychological capabilities by improving the quality of workplace support.
 
COVID-19 sparked a public health crisis and created a series of public policy challenges. This article examines how COVID-19 interventions played out at the state level given the absence of guidance and coordinated national response. We focus on how the level of policy rigidness and enforcement of behavioral interventions helps us understand the success and failures of reducing the number of positive test rates over a 20-week period (March–July 2020). Specifically, we examine how four specific interventions (masking, school closures, restaurant closures, and travel restrictions) moved through the policy creation and implementation process as outlined by a modified version of Kingdon’s multiple streams approach. We leverage a pooled-OLS approach to identify the agenda-setting and decision-making windows to verify the narrative derived from applying a modified multiple streams approach to the initial wave of policy making around COVID-19 interventions. Using this technique, we find evidence of two distinct agenda-setting windows and a decision-making window. Using these windows, we ascertain that highly restrictive policies are effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19. We find that governors acting as political entrepreneurs may not play as large of a role in the policy-making process, but they are responsive to constituent policy preferences.
 
Policies adopted to curb the spread of COVID-19 impose limits on individual freedom and although some citizens have consistently supported containment policy, others have resisted. Beyond political orientation, however, little research has explored the attitudinal basis of support for stringent virus containment policy. We argue that individuals with high levels of public service motivation (PSM) will more readily accept the sacrifices entailed by containment policy and thereby express stronger support for it. Second, we argue that the positive relationship between PSM and containment policy support is both mediated by trust in government and moderated by bureaucratic personality, the latter denoting a favorable orientation towards rules in general. Using a country-wide sample of 568 South Korean citizens collected in the fall of 2021, we estimate a conditional process model of support for COVID-19 policy stringency. We find that PSM has both a direct and indirect relationship with support via trust in government and that the indirect effect is moderated by bureaucratic personality, though not in the expected direction. We also report the results of a post hoc analysis which suggests interesting differences in how individuals evaluate rules that limit individual versus organizational freedom.
 
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating impacts on public health, the global economy, and society. This collection of articles aims to process the lessons learned from the responses to COVID-19 and understand the public management and governance implications. This symposium includes seven articles that address various aspects of the pandemic response. These seven articles suggested several important lessons learned: First, countries need to create supportive work environments for healthcare professionals to overcome the overwhelming stress and engage in innovative behaviors to meet the rapidly growing demand for healthcare services in a health crisis. Second, hybrid coordination structures are needed in response to transboundary crises. Exploring mechanisms and processes to better integrate network-based coordination with hierarchical structures is necessary. Third, digital governance must be carefully designed and implemented to facilitate crisis communication and coordination. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic offers the international context for comparing the implementation of a diverse range of COVID-19 policies and evaluating their impacts.
 
This study aims to conduct an assessment of emergency information sharing between the government and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this study intends to explore how the government provides emergency information on the pandemic to the public, how the public provides input to the government, and how the government and the public work together to respond to the pandemic. This study employed a mixed case study method focusing on the Oregon Citizen Assembly on COVID-19 Recovery and the Oregon State Government’s pandemic response activities. This study found that ordinary citizens were overall satisfied with pandemic information provided by the state government, but they reported that they did not have sufficient opportunities to share their input with the government. Online mini-publics can serve as a meaningful and deliberative forum for civic participation during pandemics.
 
What factors influence state governors to issue an executive order to reopen economic activities more or less quickly when removing the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions? Without comprehensive federal guidelines, state governors were faced with an administrative dilemma in devising mitigation policies that promoted safe public health measures while encouraging more business activity. Following the federal directive to reopen in April 2020, governors in all 50 states signed executive orders, but some waited longer than others. We argue that variation in the timing of the enactment of initial executive orders is influenced by political factors, financial resources factors, interstate factors, and problem severity of the public health incidence. Using an event history analysis, our Cox proportional hazard regression model suggests that states with unified Republican governments, more state funding obtained from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and participation in regional collaboration resumed activities earlier compared to states with more neighbors that issued reopening executive orders and states with more per capita income. Results indicate that, in crisis situations, unified political partisanship, the receipt of federal funding, and coordination with other states facilitate rapid policy adoption.
 
Performance accountability reforms of various kinds, used by most presidents to strengthen their political control over federal agencies, have become a key public management topic. It is still a matter of debate whether such reforms can really lead to deep changes inside federal agencies and what purposes they ultimately serve. This article uses three data sources to reflect on performance accountability efforts under the Bush administration from 2002 to 2008 and on six intermediate employee outcomes (discretion, performance culture, teamwork, motivation, procedural justice, and turnover intention). The descriptive results suggest that performance reforms are reacted to primarily as an external accountability requirement and are largely unrelated to intermediate employee outcomes.
 
regulatory Intent of successive Ac Interventions  
This article evaluates the recent regulatory relations of the English Audit Commission with local government. The commission's Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) initiative, which was central in defining this relationship, is taken as the key policy object. The appraisal explores the commission's performance on its own positivistic terms, focusing on the behavioral and cultural theories, institutional assumptions, and rational presumptions underpinning CPA measurement. These three yardsticks are used to trace the overall consequences of CPA's eight judgmental years on the local government polity. Noting the tenacity of positivist thinking in English government, the argument examines two counterfactual regulatory possibilities based on the diverging readings provided by interpretivism and relational materiality.
 
Many countries in the world are striving for improvement and innovation in their government services to meet their tight budgetary targets. They aim to achieve the goal through various government reinvention policies. A key principle of these policies is continuous improvement. This article introduces the essence of government reinvention, the opportune movement for public sectors to reinvent their organizations by implementing the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 series, and the possible impact of the ISO 9000 series on Taiwanese government. An empirical study that utilizes a mailed survey to assess the initiatives and key factors of implementing ISO programs in various governmental departments in Taiwan was carried out. The study identified the benefits of the ISO 9000 series and five critical factors of the successful ISO implementation in the public sector. According to the results of this study, an optimum implementation scenario is suggested if public sector organizations are to develop ISO 9000 certification successfully.
 
distribution of efforts by 91eL PPP
With both the demand for mobility and nationwide fiscal stress increasing, governments at all levels are interested in public-private partnerships as a way to introduce private investment to the public transport infrastructure. Although transport PPPs offer great promise, their complexity entails unusual risks for the investment environment, the project, and the partnership itself. Adopting the lens of game theory, this article traces the evolution if the State Route 91 Express Lanes (91EL) PPP over the past two decades and analyzes the risk-averting behavior of the players in the transport PPP game. The odyssey of 91EL demonstrates that managing transport PPPs requires understanding of the nature of the game, recognition of sectoral differences, the skill to concert divergent interests, willingness to change and learn, and the courage to take risks and explore practical solutions in an erratic political and economic environment.
 
Many local governments have begun to offer civic education programs. These programs, known as citizens academies, teach residents about the functions of their local government and offer the promise of developing a more informed and ultimately better engaged citizenry. As a clear example of local government investing in civic capacity building, the emergent practice of citizens academies merits closer examination. This article offers a descriptive analysis of citizens academies in the United States and outlines key research questions going forward.
 
The micro approach to the study of the capital budgeting process is illustrated and advocated by this article not as an alternative to the common macro perspective but as a necessary complement. The case describes and explains why the political feasibility of capital budgets may not assure the availability of operating funds. The case is offered as a possible M. P. A. capstone exercise because its analysis requires synthesis and mobilization of knowledge from other courses.
 
Electronic performance monitoring is expanding rapidly in public and private sector environments amidst evidence that when privacy concerns are raised by employees in arbitration and judicial proceedings, there is limited empirical foundation for what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy among everyday citizens. This study replicates and expands on Rainie and Duggan’s U.S. study of the acceptability of facial recognition-enabled camera surveillance in the workplace with three separate Canadian survey sample populations. We find that private sector workers tolerate cameras in the workplace more than public sector workers and that the younger age cohort, for both private and public sector workers, is more likely to tolerate cameras in the workplace than the older cohort. Further, through analysis of qualitative comments among those ambivalent about camera surveillance at work, we find that concerns over transparency, safety and authoritarianism were the most frequent themes. These results point to the considerations employers must face for surveillance practices to be viewed as reasonable by employees in both public and private sectors.
 
African traditions and modernity were conceived by colonialists as polar opposites. This justified the dismissal of traditional ways of governing in modern states. Rwanda reinvestigated its precolonial roots in search of original mechanisms to cope with the consequences of the genocide. With regard to policy implementation, it reintroduced a traditional system labeled as “Imihigo.” This Kinyarwanda word can be translated as a self-defined policy target one vows to achieve and accept to be held accountable in case of failure. Based on archival analysis and in-depth interviews with elected officials, professionals, districts council members, and local partners, this research examined how this new system positions itself vis-à-vis bureaucratic, peer, and democratic accountability. Findings suggest that far from being weakened, these three mechanisms even gained new vigor in the new system. While in the old bureaucracy, principals had no other possibility than to track the respect of procedures by agents, within Imihigo, bureaucratic accountability allows evaluators to track the origin of failure back to the specific responsibility of each individual. Peer accountability works in interinstitutional cooperation. As for democratic accountability, Imihigo promotes more transparency than it does for democracy understood in its capacity to allow competing views on the same choices.
 
Greater use of information and communications technology and e-government can increase governmental transparency. This, in turn, may invite citizen participation, foster e-governance, and facilitate e-democracy. However, beyond a certain point, more government openness may be dysfunctional if it reduces operational capacity. This article claims that in the real world, where the proverbial question is "Why can't government be like business?," many public managers are challenged by the need to perform a balancing act between the pursuit of greater openness and private-sector efficiency. The article concludes that there is a need to develop theories, models, and trainings to assist managers in addressing this balancing challenge.
 
Performance metrics are intended to reinforce accountability in the principal-agent relationship between administrators and elected officials. This form of accountability is often assumed to improve democratic responsiveness and policy outcomes. However, as many scholars have noted, performance measurement systems often result in the intractable problem of administrative gaming, which can dilute accountability in the principal-agent relationship. This qualitative case study generates theory on how and why administrative agents engage in gaming. It develops a typology and discusses the importance of understanding gaming from the perspective of administrators.
 
Elements of an Accountability Framework
This article contributes to the accountability studies literature by reporting on an attempt to operationalize a recursive concept of accountability grounded in Anthony Giddens’s theory of structuration. The approach developed for this research focused on felt accountability—the subjective experience of being accountable—and on the role of ontological (in)security in shaping accountable actors’ conduct. Case studies of tsunami hazard-mitigation planning in three coastal counties in Oregon provide a preliminary empirical test of the analytic framework. Findings from analysis of documents and semi-structured interviews of local officials involved in mitigation planning confirm the viability of the approach and generate implications for continuing research and for policy and practice. Further development of the approach and framework has the potential to advance richly descriptive and explanatory empirical accountability research and to provide usable insights for the practice of accountability in public organizations.
 
Variation in degree of internalization of organizational accountability.
Nomological validity: public employee accountability and job performance SEM results. Note. Error terms were included in the statistical analysis but are not depicted in the figure due to space limitation. Standardized coefficients are reported. Chi-square/degrees of freedom (CMIN/df) ¼ 2.53; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RAMSEA) ¼ 0.063; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) ¼ 0.923; Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) ¼ 0.915. ÃÃÃ p < 0.001.
Nomological validity tests: public employee accountability and job attitudes. (a) SEM results-work motivation. Note, Error terms were included in the statistical analysis but are not depicted in the figure due to space limitation. Standardized coefficients are reported. Chisquare/degrees of freedom (CMIN/df) ¼ 2.616, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RAMSEA) ¼ 0.064, Comparative Fit Index (CFI) ¼ 0.927, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) ¼ 0.917, ÃÃÃ p < 0.001. (b) SEM Results-Work Engagement. Note. Error terms were included in the statistical analysis but are not depicted in the figure due to space limitation. Standardized coefficients are reported. Chi-square/ degrees of freedom (CMIN/df) ¼ 2.37, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RAMSEA) ¼ 0.059, Comparative Fit Index (CFI) ¼ 0.956, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) ¼ 0.948, ÃÃÃ p < 0.001. (c) SEM Results-Job Satisfaction. Note. Error terms were included in the statistical analysis but are not depicted in the figure due to space limitation. Standardized coefficients are reported. Chi-square/ degrees of freedom (CMIN/df) ¼ 2.680, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RAMSEA) ¼ 0.066, Comparative Fit Index (CFI) ¼ 0.945, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) ¼ 0.935, ÃÃÃ p < 0.001.
Experimental Results.
While the field of public management has long emphasized the importance of holding public employees accountable for their actions, our understanding of how best to do so has been hindered by a dearth of empirical research on this topic. Recent literature has called for more examination of individual subjective experiences of being accountable – employee accountability – in order to research how macro accountability systems make a difference to individuals. To validate the employee accountability construct in the public domain, we collect data from two separate samples using a multidimensional scale to measure public employee accountability. We analyze these data to explore the nomological network of public employee accountability by assessing its relationship with both a logical antecedent and expected outcomes. Based on findings that validate the nomological network, we discuss how this research contributes to the literature on accountability and possible directions for future research.
 
Recent reforms in K-12 education governance shift the accountability responsibility in public education away from the democratic governance provided by school boards, but little is known about how school board members define accountability. In this article, survey data from school board members in Wisconsin is combined with school district demographic and performance variables to determine how board members define accountability, and how those definitions relate to outcomes. The analysis finds no connection between any single accountability definition and school district outcomes, but does find a significant positive relationship between board member agreement on accountability definitions and academic performance indicators.
 
GBI interview outcomes.
Outcome based policies promote the use performance accountability models. However, the impact these policies have on the ethical culture of public sector organizations has not been adequately assessed. This research examines performance accountability reforms by examining the City of Atlanta’s implementation of federal and state performance policies. The analysis reveals the use of performance models in vulnerable organizations negatively impact employees’ ethical behavior. Teachers and administrators altered test results, delivered threats, misled parents and students about performance outcomes, and were dishonest with state investigators to give the illusion that performance goals had been met or exceeded.
 
Performance funding is a specific method to manage performance by tying public funding to performance rather than to inputs identified by the organization. Since the 1980s, many countries have adopted some version of performance funding in the higher education sector as part of marketization processes and in response to increased competition, making it a major issue in higher education policy. This paper develops a theoretical framework that utilizes a network-related principal-agent framework to detect the possible origins of the failures in most versions of performance funding in higher education. The framework specifies the conditions required for effective monitoring and effort maximization. Nevertheless, we show that such conditions rarely exist in most higher education systems. Thus, performance funding creates an “autonomy paradox” that ultimately explains the failures in accountability related to performance funding. This unexpected and unwelcome outcome calls for a reexamination of this approach. We recommend expanding the collection of performance information to include inputs and capabilities and creating various mechanisms that connect specific solutions to specific problems.
 
Organizational Learning Model for Public Entities
Despite substantial expansion of the amount and scope of public accountability, government responsiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness have not significantly improved. Such a development may emerge as agencies move from accountability reporting with a short-term focus to dynamic accountability that examines long-run performance. Dynamic accountability requires ongoing organizational learning. The article examines possible enabling factors that would facilitate such organizational learning.
 
Can performance management contribute to strengthening accountability in joint agreements in a federal system? A case study approach is used to analyze implementation of the Australian National Education Agreement as a joint agreement between the commonwealth and state governments. Special attention is directed to the Australian government’s Reform Council as both a completely new aspect of intergovernmental relations and the manifest application of performance management as a key component of joint agreements. The study demonstrates that performance management has limited capacity for strengthening accountability in federal agreements, observing a need to examine new approaches that attempt to accommodate new types of performance systems to more effectively improve joint service delivery arrangements and strengthen accountability mechanisms. Given the prevalence of performance management in Western policy administration, there is value in analyzing how, if it is to remain, performance management can be improved. To identify a path forward, Bouckaert and Halligan’s performance management theoretical framework is employed to provide an additional layer of analysis. The central argument post-analysis is that the effective application of performance measurement and management to promote accountability in federal joint agreements will require approaches based on vertical and horizontal cooperation between levels of government.
 
Learning from Accountability in a Cycle
Public Tasks and forms of Innovative Accountability (typology based on Van Thiel 2006)
Traditional and Innovative Accountability Compared
Learning Potential of Innovative Accountability
Governments are experimenting with new forms of accountability that depart from tradition and are less bureaucratic in form, content, and symbolism. This article reports on the learning potential of recent public accountability innovations in Australia, the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States. All these innovations depart from the set formats of established forms of accountability, using new media and digital technology, not to increase the level of bureaucratic reporting, but to open up the accountability process to interactions with internal and external stakeholders. This enables critical dialogue on organizational conduct and performance that may foster organizational learning processes.
 
Policy makers and police departments have suggested the implementation of body-worn cameras (BWC) to increase officer accountability. BWC may be a contributing factor in altering police officers’ behavior, beyond use of force statistics and citizen complaints. Its impact on reported property crimes and violent crimes is yet to be explored. To examine this topic more meticulously, the authors estimate a difference-in-difference estimation on the effect of the adoption of BWC technology on reported property and violent crime in Washington D.C. This study finds that BWC implementation leads to a 9% reduction in reported property crimes but no effect for reported violent crimes. These results lend important application for accountability literature, policymakers and legislators, including the impact of policy tools on bureaucratic decision making and the development of new accountability standards that include BWC.
 
Top-cited authors
S. Van Thiel
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
Frans Leeuw
  • Maastricht University
Geert Bouckaert
Tom Christensen
  • University of Oslo
Per Lægreid
  • University of Bergen