Performance Management in the Public Sector

Living reference work entry



Performance management is a management style aimed at setting goals and ensuring that such targets are achieved through a planning and control cycle. It embodies a set of activities, tools, and mechanisms intended to measuring and evaluating results to continuously improve performance.


In the last 20 years or so, public sector organizations have borrowed management practices from the private sector. The pushing argument of doing more with less, which have inspired New Public Management (NPM) reforms, brought within the public sector the need for explicit use of standards and measures of performance (Hood 1991). The government of Western countries started to place greater emphasis on output control, reward systems, and results rather than overlooking compliance with administrative rules and procedures. NPM-oriented reforms provided public managers with these new tools for achieving performance. However,...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Sciences and International relationsUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Archaeological and Monumental Heritage of the (Italian)National Research CouncilCataniaItaly