Just as the concept of governance has become a key concept within public management over the last 30 years, so too has that of performance. Across the world, many societies have become obsessed with the notion of performance, seeking to deliver ‘better’ or ‘high’ performance across a range of different domains. The UK has not escaped this trend, and, as we saw in the previous chapter, performance was a much used word within New Labour’s modernisation discourse and often in relation to the concept of partnership. This chapter investigates the issue of performance in more detail and sets out the framework that will be used to assess different types of performances in the case studies that follow in the second part of the book. It argues that government and mainstream public management literature have tended to cleave to rationalist notions of performance as expressed through efficiency and effectiveness, and less attention has been paid to cultural performance. This is problematic because it excludes important components of performance, particularly those related to values, meaning and emotion.
KeywordsOrganisational Performance Public Management Previous Chapter Labour Government Cultural Performance
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