Performance Management in the UK Public Sector: addressing multiple stakeholder complexity

Shirley-Ann Hazlett, R. McAdam, C. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose The aim of this paper is to explore the issues involved in developing and applying performance management approaches within a large UK public sector department using a multiple stakeholder perspective and an accompanying theoretical framework. Design/methodology/approach An initial short questionnaire was used to determine perceptions about the implementation and effectiveness of the new performance management system across the organisation. In total, 700 questionnaires were distributed. Running concurrently with an ethnographic approach, and informed by the questionnaire responses, was a series of semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Findings Staff at all levels had an understanding of the new system and perceived it as being beneficial. However, there were concerns that the approach was not continuously managed throughout the year and was in danger of becoming an annual event, rather than an ongoing process. Furthermore, the change process seemed to have advanced without corresponding changes to appraisal and reward and recognition systems. Thus, the business objectives were not aligned with motivating factors within the organisation. Research limitations/implications Additional research to test the validity and usefulness of the theoretical model, as discussed in this paper, would be beneficial. Practical implications The strategic integration of the stakeholder performance measures and scorecards was found to be essential to producing an overall stakeholder-driven strategy within the case study organisation. Originality/value This paper discusses in detail the approach adopted and the progress made by one large UK public sector organisation, as it attempts to develop better relationships with all of its stakeholders and hence improve its performance. This paper provides a concerted attempt to link theory with practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-273
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Performance Management in the UK Public Sector: addressing multiple stakeholder complexity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this