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Performance measurement and metric manipulation in the public sector

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This paper explores the circumstances that influence whether managers in the public services manipulate the measurement information that is used to assess performance; and if they do, what level of deception they might use. The realistic evaluation approach is adopted. A Delphi survey and the collection of critical incidents through interviews are used to identify possible configurations of contexts–mechanisms–outcomes that provide possible explanations of information manipulation. A number of these configurations are discussed. In a later stage of the project these configurations will be further tested through another Delphi survey, with the intention of developing proposals for improved governance of performance measurement systems in the public services.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Research Associate & Senior Lecturer, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK 2: Professor of Managerial Ethics & Values, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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