On the road to performance governance in the public domain?

John Halligan, Claudia Sarrico, Mary Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose ⿿ This article seeks to assess how performance management in the public domain has evolved over the last several years both in terms of theory and practice in selected countries. The paper also aims to act as the editorial for the special issue of the journal. Design/methodology/approach ⿿ Drawing on Bouckaert and Halligan as a framework for analysing performance management in the public sector, this paper reviews findings from their work (on the evolution of cases from six countries), a recent survey of seven countries from four continents, and three additional case studies at the micro, meso and macro levels of analysis. Findings ⿿ The article finds that the evidence for progress towards a ⿿performance governance� regime in the public domain is mixed, with little progress in countries outside the Anglo-American or Nordic examples studied by Bouckaert and Halligan. Several reasons for this are suggested from the recent survey (in this issue), including the impact of public sector values and the role of elites. However, case studies of particular sectors in countries with limited progress on performance management in general (Portugal and Ireland) suggest that significant inroads can nevertheless be made along the trajectory proposed by Bouckaert and Halligan at micro and meso levels. Originality/value ⿿ The paper draws together evidence from various examples of performance management in the public domain to critically assess and extend existing theory and to suggest alternative trajectories on the road to performance governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-234
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Productivity and Quality Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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