Current State of Public Sector Performance Management in Seven Selected Countries

Mary Rhodes, Lucia Biondi, Ricardo Gomes, Ana Melo, Frank Ohemeng, Gemma Perez-Lopez, Andrea Rossi, Wahyu Sutiyono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper seeks to extend the analysis of performance management regimes by Bouckaert and Halligan to other countries in order to contribute to the developing theory of forms and challenges in public sector performance management.

Design/methodology/approach - The state of performance management and the context in which it has evolved is assessed in seven different countries using dimensions drawn from Bouckaert and Halligan's work along with elements from earlier work by Pollitt and Bouckaert. These are summarized in a table and comparisons made to generate additional insights into the factors that influence the shape and speed of public management evolution.

Findings - The paper finds that the Bouckaert and Halligan framework for analyzing public sector performance management is useful, albeit with some modifications. Specifically, it finds that administrative culture is a key factor influencing the speed of reform and that the attitude of elites (politicians and civil servants, in most cases) is also a vital piece of the puzzle that was not included in Bouckaert and Halligan, but did appear in the earlier framework of Pollitt and Bouckaert. It also finds evidence that economic and political crises occurring together accelerate the introduction of integrated performance management systems, but that trust in government does not appear to be a significant factor. Finally, the paper observes that, absent political crisis/commitment, governments will prioritise "external" performance measures such as customer service, participation and transparency objectives over "internal" performance measures such as financial, staff management and whole of government reporting.

Originality/value - The countries studied provide a rare insight into lesser-known performance management regimes and the use of the Bouckaert and Halligan framework allows for comparisons to earlier (and future) research. The findings will be of interest to scholars in public administration reform and performance management
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-271
Number of pages37
JournalInternational Journal of Productivity Performance Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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