Presenter: Martha K. Rogers
Advisor(s): Charles K. Coe
Author(s): Martha K. Rogers
Graduate Program: Public Administration

Title: Explaining Performance Measurement Utilization in Local Governments

Abstract: Performance measurement (PM) enables management and elected policymakers to make better decisions about the delivery of public goods and services.  Although local governments’ use of PM has grown considerably over the past two decades, little empirical evidence explains the variation in usage.  Most research has been normative or descriptive, with the exception of a few studies that examined multivariate relationships, including Kong (1998) who conducted a path analysis of PM utilization in management and budgeting in the federal government.  Replicating Kong’s methodology, but at the local level, this study uses structural equation modeling to examine the organizational (organizational culture and rewards and sanctions), human (leadership, involvement of the central budget office, and citizen participation), and measurement factors (measurement capacity and data quality) that affect PM usage. 

Kong’s model demonstrated that organizational factors affected human factors, measurement factors, and PM utilization.  The present study found that human factors affect measurement and organizational factors as well.  Specifically, this study showed that rewards and sanctions, organizational culture, leadership, budget office involvement, and data quality directly affected PM utilization in management.  In contrast, Kong’s study did not find a significant relationship with leadership and involvement. 

Kong found that involvement, goal clarity, and organizational culture directly affected PM utilization in budgeting.  This research found that data quality had a significant effect as well.   It did not show a direct relationship with rewards and sanctions, which was used as a proxy for goal clarity.  Kong did not examine reporting.  This research found data quality most strongly influenced PM reporting, but organizational culture and leadership also had a significant effect.