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Moving Beyond Innovation Diffusion In Smaller Local Governments: Does Performance Management Exist?

PAQ, Vol. 40 No. 4, (2016)

The performance paradigm of today, which is commonly referred to as performance management, includes the two distinct stages of developing performance measures and actually using them for service improvement. The good news is that the literature contains evidence that performance management does exist to some extent among local governments in the United States and in other countries; however, this same literature focuses primarily on larger local governments. We respond by presenting a comparative case study analysis between two municipalities from the United States and one municipality from Italy within the population range of 1,000 to 4,999. The findings of our research suggest that performance management can be found in smaller local governments when the necessary leadership and the higher-order measures of efficiency and effectiveness are in place. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for smaller local governments and by presenting possibilities for next steps regarding future performance management research.

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