Theme:Public Management. Organizational and Inter-Institutional performance management in Public Administration for sustainable growth
(in collaboration with ” International Journal of Public Administration”)
Performance management is still an evolving topic in both research and practice. The critical issues related to the design and implementation of formal performance management systems are measuring organizational results, producing information for more informed decision-making, and promoting process improvement. The ambiguity of performance management in the public sector is still a disputed topic, particularly when the evaluation of outcome performance measures and the sustainability of community policies are considered. The traditional domain of performance management is focused on an organizational sphere, implying that achieved results are primarily assessed in relation to the effects produced by decision makers on their own institutions. Setting outcome performance measures in such context often implies difficulties in framing the effects of the administrative processes carried out by an agency on the wider system (i.e., on public service users, the community, and the territory). This phenomenon has been seen as a major cause of myopia in measuring and managing performance on an organizational level. When an inter-institutional system’s perspective is adopted, assessing performance sustainability requires a focus on the single organization’s results and on how such results contribute to the wider system’s performance. Inside such a wider system, each organization can build or share a given endowment of strategic resources. Both the aggregate performance of a territory and the specific performance of each organization inside it are significantly affected by the accumulation and depletion processes of social capital and other strategic resources (e.g. infrastructures, image). This perspective implies that performance is assessed in relation to the effects produced by decision makers on the region or territory to which their organization belongs. In such context, the inter-institutional system’s performance does not result from a mere sum of the performance levels produced by each single institution. It is, rather, the effect of the net of relationships and synergies between the different institutions linked each other. Therefore, this call for proposals focuses on the following research questions: How can performance management systems allow public sector institutions support the design and implementation of sustainable policies in the long-run and how can the design and implementation of performance management systems contribute to this ‘new frontier’ of knowledge and practice in the public sector in order to foster sustainable growth.