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Connecting Knowledge and Performance in Public Services
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Book description

The performance of public services is now more closely scrutinised than ever before. Every teacher, doctor, social worker or probation officer knows that behind them stands a restless army of overseers, equipped with a panoply of league tables, star ratings, user opinion surveys, performance indicators and the like with which to judge them. This increased scrutiny and performance measurement has undoubtedly produced improved public services. Yet we still have a limited understanding about how this information can be best used to bring about improvements in performance. What goes on inside the 'black box' of public organisations to move from information to action, or from 'knowing' to 'doing'? This book tackles this important question by reviewing a wide range of performance mechanisms. It explores how information about performance can be translated into improvements in services and, conversely, why this does not always happen in practice.


‘A thoughtful collection on the most fundamental challenges of performance management in the public sector. Leading authors grapple in this book with the way that performance management is more than rituals of performance measurement. Why is it that knowing more about what is failing so often fails to reduce failure? This volume breaks new ground with what can be done to connect practice improvement to measurement of outcomes.’

John Braithwaite - Australian National University

‘We live in a world overrun by information, with an ever-increasing expectation that public actors will use it to make our lives better. But do they? Under what conditions? When does it lead to positive change? This volume addresses these questions, offering a broad array of insightful models, theories, and empirical findings. It should be read by all who are interested in better connecting knowledge with policy and management processes.’

Donald P. Moynihan - University of Wisconsin-Madison

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