Tackling the Performance Regime Paradox: A Problem-Solving Approach Engages Professional Goal-Based Learning

Forthcoming in Public Administration Review

38 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2020

See all articles by Donald P. Moynihan

Donald P. Moynihan

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy

Martin Bækgaard

Aarhus University

Mads Leth Jakobsen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 22, 2019

Abstract

Public performance regimes are bedeviled by a paradox: they must engage the specialized knowledge of professionals who often perceive those very regimes as a threat to their autonomy. We use a mixed-method analysis of performance management in Danish hospitals, with separate data for managers and frontline professionals, to offer two insights into this challenge. First, we show that managerial behavior – in the form of performance information use - matters to how frontline professionals engage in goal-based learning. Second, we show that how managers use performance data matters. When managers use data in ways that reinforce the perception of performance management as an externally-imposed tool of control, professionals withdraw effort. However, when managers use data in ways that solve organizational problems, professionals engage in goal-based learning. The threat to professional values that performance regimes pose can therefore be mitigated by managers using data in ways that complements those values.

Suggested Citation

Moynihan, Donald P. and Bækgaard, Martin and Jakobsen, Mads Leth, Tackling the Performance Regime Paradox: A Problem-Solving Approach Engages Professional Goal-Based Learning (December 22, 2019). Forthcoming in Public Administration Review, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3508176 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3508176

Donald P. Moynihan (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy ( email )

Old North, Suite 100
37th & O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Martin Bækgaard

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark

Mads Leth Jakobsen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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