Performance Management Systems: Providing Accountability and Challenging Collaboration
Performance measurement systems are promoted as mechanisms of accountability and, thus, enhancements to democratic control. Choices mustbe made aboutwhether the unitof accountability will be individuals, programs, agencies or larger systems. Focusing on the performance of the individual program or agency has the benefit of establishing clear lines of accountability, and has emerged as the most common focus of performance measurement systems. At the same time, the importance of partnerships and other forms of collaboration have been emphasized in management theory and practice. Complex social problems are typically addressed by multiple organizations inside and outside government, so (at a minimum) coordination among programs is necessary in order to avoid duplication or gaps, as well as to achieve better outcomes. The question is whether, and how, typical approaches to performance management are impacting partnerships and collaborations. Self-aligning collaborations, performanceagreements and social indicatorsare explored as mechanisms for achieving both accountability and collaboration in pursuit of outcomes oriented performance.
KeywordsVeteran Health Administration Social Indicator Organizational Boundary Performance Measurement System Internal Revenue Service
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