Analysing performance assessment in public services: how useful is the concept of a performance regime?

Steve Martin, Sandra Margaret Nutley, James Downe, Clive Grace

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Approaches to performance assessment have been described as ‘performance regimes’, but there has been little analysis of what is meant by this concept and whether it has any real value. We draw on four perspectives on regimes – ‘institutions and instruments’, ‘risk regulation regimes’, ‘internal logics and effects’ and ‘analytics of government’ – to explore how the concept of a multi-dimensional regime can be applied to performance assessment in public services. We conclude that the concept is valuable. It helps to frame comparative and longitudinal analyses of approaches to performance assessment and draws attention to the ways in which public service performance regimes operate at different levels, how they change over time and what drives their development. Areas for future research include analysis of the impacts of performance regimes and interactions between their visible features (such as inspections, performance indicators and star ratings) and the veiled rationalities which underpin them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-145
    Number of pages17
    JournalPublic Administration
    Volume94
    Issue number1
    Early online date2 Sept 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016

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