Testing how management matters in an era of government by performance management

Moynihan, D. P.; Pandey, S. K.
July 2005
Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory;7/1/2005, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p421
Academic Journal
Public administration finds itself in an era of government by performance management, which is reflected in the widespread assumption that management is a key determinant of performance, and that it is reasonable to expect managers to measurably improve organizational effectiveness. This article joins a growing literature in seeking to conceptualize and empirically test how external environmental influences and internal management factors combine to create performance, relying on data from the 2002-2003 National Administrative Studies Project (NASP-II) survey of state government health and human services officials. We categorize managerial efforts to facilitate organizational performance as determined either through their interactions with the organizational environment, or through employing workable levers to change internal organizational culture, structure, and technology. Among the external environmental variables, we find that the support of elected officials and the influence of the public and media have a positive impact on effectiveness. Among internal management choices, the ability to create a developmental organizational culture, establish a focus on results through goal clarity, and decentralize decision-making authority are all positively associated with organizational effectiveness.


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