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A call for conceptual clarity: a soft systems view of performance measurement in public service delivery

Research output: Working paper

Publication date2005
Place of PublicationLancaster University
PublisherThe Department of Management Science
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameManagement Science Working Paper Series


Performance measurement systems and the publication of performance data are fundamental to the New Public Management, with its emphasis on decentralised service provision through a variety of agencies. There seem to be four reasons for this performance measurement: to see what works, to identify competences, to support public accountability and to allow control of decentralised service provision. Each of these is examined, using the root definitions that form part of soft systems methodology, which highlights the importance of different worldviews that provide justifications for different approaches to this measurement. If performance measurement systems are to be beneficial, their design should be based on a conceptualisations that recognises these different worldviews and purposes.