Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Organizational Social Capital and Performance Information Use: Analyzing the Relationship and Its Implication for Public Management

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 2:05 PM
Ibis (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Michele Tantardini, Florida International University
The use of performance information constitutes the backbone of performance management Performance information use refers to the willingness of public managers or other relevant stakeholders to base their decision-making process on actual data and facts. When speaking of performance information one refers to data which are produced as a part of the systematic routines associated with management-for-results reforms discussed previously: defining goals, identifying indicators to measure goal achievement, and regularly tracking performance against these indicators. However, there is also important performance feedback which does not fit this category and which has therefore been labelled “nonroutine”. This type of feedback refers to “rich”, qualitative information managers often get from social interactions with employees and peers, including calls, meetings, and observational tours. Understanding what the impact factors of performance information use are is a big strain in the literature of performance management.

 Among the identified impact factor, Organizational Social Capital (OSC) has been overlooked thus far. OSC is composed of the sub-dimensions of social interaction, trust, and shared goal. The main argument of the paper is that OSC is relevant for performance management system to work and in particular that OSC fosters performance information use in public administrations.

To test this hypothesis I surveyed public managers in all the 67 counties of the State of Florida. Preliminary results show that there is evidence for the hypothesized effects. Organizational capital is an important predictor of performance information use and thus deserves to receive further attention by researchers and practitioners alike.