Performance in Public Organizations: Clarifying the Conceptual Space

Lotte Bøgh Andersen, Andreas Boesen, Lene Holm Pedersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    878 Downloads (Pure)


    Performance in public organizations is a key concept that requires clarification. Based on a conceptual review of research published in 10 public administration journals, this article proposes six distinctions to describe the systematic differences in performance criteria: From which stakeholder's perspective is performance being assessed? Are the criteria formal or informal? Are the criteria subjective? Which process focus and product focus do they have, if any? What is the unit of analysis? Based on these distinctions, the performance criteria of existing studies used in an empirical review of management and performance are classified. The results illustrate how a systematization of the conceptual space of performance in public organizations can help researchers select what to study and what to leave out with greater accuracy while also bringing greater clarity to public debates about performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPublic Administration Review
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)852–862
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Cite this