Performance Measurement in the Public Sector

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-287

Canadian Business Economics 6(2), 1998, 37-48

Posted: 5 Jun 2013

See all articles by Alice Orcutt Nakamura

Alice Orcutt Nakamura

University of Alberta - School of Business

William P. Warburton

Government of Canada - Ministry of Human Resources

Date Written: June 3, 1997

Abstract

Performance measures are being actively developed in Canada at both the federal and provincial government levels to improve the performance of the public sector and to achieve greater accountability. One important source of friction in discussions of performance measurement in the public sector is that closely related terms are used in different ways. Reviewing the types of measures and issues related to their production and use can help avoid misunderstandings. Another reason for calling attention to the spectrum of different types of performance measures is that choices made about how information is to be collected and stored for one particular set of measures can inadvertently facilitate or impede the later development of other measures. When information is to be produced at public expense, it is important for careful consideration to be given to cost-effective auxiliary uses that might be made of the information. We begin by providing a nontechnical overview of the different types of performance measures and some of their uses. Next we discuss how these relate to, and can build on, a number of long established private and public sector functions. Formal performance measurement practices have evolved and been used more in a private than in a public sector context. Many of these practices require adaptive adjustment if they are to be successfully used in public sector applications. We call attention to some of these needed adaptations. Finally, the article summarizes our main conclusions.

Suggested Citation

Nakamura, Alice Orcutt and Warburton, William P., Performance Measurement in the Public Sector (June 3, 1997). University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-287, Canadian Business Economics 6(2), 1998, 37-48, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2273839

Alice Orcutt Nakamura (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - School of Business ( email )

2-32C Business Building
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

William P. Warburton

Government of Canada - Ministry of Human Resources ( email )

Victoria, British Columbia
Canada

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
263
PlumX Metrics