The Implementation of Performance Management in European Central Governments: More a North-South than an East-West Divide
NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy
This article presents the first country-comparative evidence on the importance and use of performance management in European central governments, based on an executive survey conducted in 17 countries. The data confirm that performance management has made its way into European central governments and continues to constitute a major reform trend. At the organizational level of ministries and agencies we find a consistently strong use of strategic planning, performance appraisal and management
... l and management objectives, along with only a partial institutionalization of a performance-management logic. Scepticism towards measurement and the difficulty of acting upon performance information are persistent challenges. We also find that performance-management implementation is significantly stronger in agencies and larger organizations, and that it varies strongly between different countries. Implementation is substantially higher in Scandinavian countries and Anglo-Saxon countries than in Continental and Southern European countries, with a rather varied pattern for Central and Eastern European countries. The findings thereby confirm the need for a more context-sensitive understanding of performance management, along with the need for more extensive research and evidence to further develop this cross-comparative European perspective.