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Performance Management



One of the logical results of the adoption of the New Public Management paradigm in the public sector has been the (further) diffusion of performance measuring and performance management in the Western World. The goal of performance management is to come to a greater level of efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector by both measuring and evaluating the outputs and outcomes of processes. The result should be to be better able to “rate” public sector organizations by having a transparent system to measure results.

However, performance management is not without its flaws either. De Bruijn (2007) points out a number of perverse effects that are the result of negative incentives caused by performance indicators and by putting the wrong focus on what can be considered a “success”. Moreover, by concentrating on some elements that are directly measured by performance measurement systems, other values engrained in the public sector are sometimes overlooked.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, students:

  • Know the origin of performance management and its current components

  • Know the theory behind performance management and can describe practical examples of it in the public sector

  • Can elaborate on the value and the pitfalls of using performance management in the public sector

  • Are able to analyse a performance management system in use within an organization



Methods of instruction

This course consist of lectures and a presentation. 4 sessions will be dedicated to lectures and discussion, 2 sessions will consist of presentations by students, and one session remains open for final questions and remarks regarding the paper that has to be written.

Study load

  • total study load 140 – contact hours: 21 – self-study hours: 119

Method of assessment

Presentation of draft final paper during course: 25%
Final paper: 75%
Compensation is possible

Resit: new version of the final paper


Yes, one week in advance

Other course materials/literature

de Bruijn, H. (2007), Managing Performance in the Public Sector, Routledge: London (EAN 9780415403207)

Additional articles made available on Blackboard


Registration for every course and exam in USIS is mandatory. For courses, registration is possible from four weeks up to three days before the start of the course.
For exams, registration is possible from four weeks up to ten days before the date of the examination.


Dr. Joery Matthys
Room: B2.08
Phone numbers: +31-(0)71-527-6688 or +31-(0)70-800-9395