Ulrik Hvidman

Performance measurement in the public sector: Impacts on public performance and citizens’ perceptions

Performance measurement constitutes one of the most common elements of public sector reforms. The purpose of this dissertation is to advance our understanding of performance measurement in the public sector by studying questions from the perspectives of both public organizations and citizens. The dissertation discusses theoretically—using research from public administration, private management, economics, and psychology—different types of barriers to the use of performance information. Moreover, using experimental and longitudinal research designs, the dissertation studies specific attempts to implement performance measures within the public bureaucracy as well as initiatives that target citizens.

Although many of the barriers to performance measurement are common to both the public and private sectors, the dissertation argues that public sector organizations are different in certain respects, which are important to the use of performance measurement. Thus, the dissertation highlights important challenges in the public sector—both in relation to managers within public organizations and in relation to citizens’ perceptions and behaviors—that policy makers and managers should be aware of when they design and use performance measurement.

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