Performance information plays an important role in the current practice of public administration, but it is also a contested policy tool among academics and practitioners. While performance information has multiple purposes and potential benefits, not everyone agrees about these purposes, and a number of dysfunctional effects of performance information have been noted. However, despite a growing amount of research during the past two decades, much remains unknown about the role of performance information in government.
This dissertation seeks to advance our understanding of performance information by posing new questions, developing novel theory, and undertaking rigorous empirical tests of the theoretical claims. Moreover, the dissertation shows that understanding how performance information shapes political and management decision making can contribute to answering some of the classic and enduring questions of public administration and broader political science, including how we can improve the performance of public services, how organizations prioritize different goals and tasks, how organizational change comes about, and how elected representatives decide on the allocation of scarce budget funds.
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