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When will we ever learn?

Journal article
Authors Vicki Johansson
Published in The NISPAAcee Journal of Public Administration an Policy
Volume VIII Winter 2015/2016
Issue 2
Pages 149-173
ISSN 1337-9038
Publication year 2016
Published at School of Public Administration
Pages 149-173
Language en
Links https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/178772
Keywords performance measurement systems, implementation, rational behaviour, intrinsic values
Subject categories Public Administration Studies

Abstract

This paper puts forward the argument that Performance Measurement Systems (PMSs) foster rational, self-interested behaviour and vested values at all levels within organisations, which weakens moral barriers preventing fraud, fabrication of data and bribery. It argues that the longer a PMS is in operation, the grater the probability that rational self-interested behaviour in conflict with fundamental values and goals will be consolidated, aggravated and disseminated within organisations that operate within public welfare policy. If implemented, common incentives aimed at counteracting undesirable behaviour aggravate and speed up this process rather than reversing it. In a worst-case scenario, PMSs are the first step toward corruption, even though PMSs have been implemented with the good intension of improving public policy and strengthening accountability.

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