Managing in an era of accountability
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] In recent decades, governments have invested heavily in the development of performance management systems for all types of services as a means to improve performance and transparency in the service delivery process. Given the complexities of policy implementation, it is not unsurprising that the empirical evidence is largely mixed in regards to the effectiveness of accountability programs. While scholars have extensively examined the challenges and complexities facing accountability programs, the public management literature has failed to reflect on the key processes and conditions sufficient for the ultimate success or failure of a program. To contribute to the performance management literature, I examine one of the most theoretically important, yet overlooked conditions - accountability pressures. While accountability pressures could have numerous effects on managers and policy-makers, Moynihan identifies three major benefits claimed by performance management doctrine: (1) fostering performance information usage among managers and policy-makers, (2) promoting better accountability of bureaucrats to elected officials, and (3) incentivizing efficiency in the distribution of resources. All of these claims represent important organizational processes and conditions; yet, little is known about the impact of accountability pressures on these intermediate processes. This dissertation is organized around providing that evidence.
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