The Public Administration Section of the American Political Science Association has awarded their 2012 Herbert Simon Book Award to Donald P. Moynihan’s The Dynamics of Performance Management: Constructing Information and Reform. Drawing on research from state and federal levels, The Dynamics of Performance Management illustrates how governments have emphasized some aspects of performance management—such as building measurement systems to acquire more performance data—but have neglected wider organizational change that would facilitate the use of such information.
In Moynihan’s analysis of why and how governments in the United States have made the move to performance systems, he identifies agency leadership, culture, and resources as keys to better implementation, goal-based learning, and improved outcomes.
How do governments use the performance information generated under performance systems? Moynihan develops a model of interactive dialogue to highlight how performance data, which promised to optimize decision making and policy change for the public’s benefit, has often been used selectively to serve the interests of particular agencies and individuals, undermining attempts at interagency problem solving and reform.
A valuable resource for public administration scholars and administrators, The Dynamics of Performance Management offers fresh insight into how government organizations can better achieve their public service goals.