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Performance Information as a Management Tool

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Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


A Teaching Topic in Strategy and Implementation

Performance Information as a Management Tool

This topic examines the use of performance information to manage a public organization and deliver public value. It looks at how performance measurement and management translate into effective resource allocation to achieve results (New York GP 1020).

This topic explores the available tools and techniques for achieving transformational change and/or leading high performance organizations. Tools and techniques include change management programs, performance management, managing regulatory agencies, transformation via learning, talent management, diversity in organizations, and impact investing. This topic covers the benefits and problems of performance measurement as a management and motivational tool (Harvard MLD-110B). 

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will understand the uses of performance information as a tool to measure organizational performance and inform policy evolution.

Core Concepts Associated With This Topic: Performance (in public management); Performance Expectations (in public management); Performance Monitoring; Productivity in the Public Sector; Results Based Management; Results-Based Reporting; Performance Reporting; Performance Story; Benchmark; Expected Result; Intermediate Outcome; Lessons Learned (in evaluation); Neutrality (in evaluation); Objectivity (in evaluation); Outcome; Outputs; Performance Audit; Performance Criteria; Performance Indicator; Performance Measure; Performance Measurement; Performance Measurement Strategy

Recommended Reading

Harvard MLD-110B Strategic Management

"Assertive Policing, Plummeting Crime: The NYPD Takes on Crime in New York City: HKS Case C16-99-1530.0, 30 pages

Robert Behn, "The Theory Behind Baltimore’s CitiStat", APPAM Research Conference 2006, 34 pages

Steven D. Levitt, "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s" 

Kevin Drum, "America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead"

"Mayor Anthony Williams and Performance Management in Washington, DC", HKS Case C16-02-1647.0

Elaine C. Kamarck, The End of the Government…As We Know It, Rienner, 2007, Chapter 5, pp. 61-94

Carleton PADM 5117 Public Sector Management and the Canadian Political System

Miekatrien Sterck and Bram Scheers, “Trends in Performance Budgeting in Seven OECD Countries,” Public Performance & Management Review, 30 (Sept 2006), 1, 47-72.

Miekatrien Sterck, “The impact of performance budgeting on the role of the legislature: a four-country study,” International Review of Administrative Sciences, 73 (2007), 189-203.

Leone and Ohemeng, Chapter 6: “Do Performance Management Systems Lead to Better Accountability and Governance?"

New York GP 1020 Managing Public Service Organizations

Syllabus Section: Managing and Measuring Organizational Performance Objectives

Behn, R. D. (2003). Why Measure Performance? Different Purposes Require Different Measures. Public Administration Review, 63, pp. 586-606.

Sawhill, J. C., & Williamson, D. (2001). Mission Impossible? Measuring Success in Nonprofit Organizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 11, pp. 371-386.

W.K. Kellog Foundation (2004). W.K. Kellog Foundation Logic Model Development Guide. Chapter 1, pp. 1-14.

Grossman, A., & Curran, D. (2004). The Harlem Children’s Zone: Driving Performance with Measurement and Evaluation. Harvard Business School, pp. 1-29.

Lipsky, M. (2010). Goals and Performance Measures. In Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services, pp. 1-43. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Lampkin, L. M., & Hatry, H. P. (2003). Key Steps in Outcome Management. In Series on Outcome Management for Nonprofit Organizations, pp. 1-43. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Rutgers 26:834:215 Introduction to Public Administration

Holzer, Marc and Richard Schwester. (2011) Public Administration: An Introduction. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York. Chapter 7: Public Performance.

Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) How does performance management differ from program evaluation?

2.) What is performance information? What is the role of performance information in the policy process/cycle?

3.) What are some possible unintended consequences of regularly using performance information as a tool to allocate organizational resources? 

Page created by Matthew Seddon; updated by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen. Last updated on 7 April, 2015


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School of Public Policy and Governance