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

Panel: Governmental Performance and Stakeholder Perceptions: Evidence from Experimental Interventions
(Public and Non-Profit Management and Finance)

Saturday, November 14, 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Tuttle Center (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Richard M. Walker, City University of Hong Kong
Panel Chairs:  Richard M. Walker, City University of Hong Kong
Discussants:  Claudia N. Avellaneda, Indiana University

Biases and Governing: Experimental Evidence from Elected Officials Use of Performance Data
Donald Moynihan, University of Wisconsin - Madison and Poul Aaes Nielsen, University of Southern Denmark

Are More Options Always a Good Thing for Citizens? An Experimental Study of School Choice, Performance and Satisfaction
Oliver James, University of Exeter, Sebastian Jilke, Erasmus Universiteit and Gregg Van Ryzin, Rutgers University

Service Users and Manager Perceptions of Performance Information Use: Performance Dimensions and Data Credibility
M. Jin Lee1, Richard M. Walker1 and Oliver James2, (1)City University of Hong Kong, (2)University of Exeter

This panel proposal for the Public and Nonprofit Management and Finance Policy Area tackles enduring questions in public management and policy and implements robust evidence-based research methodologies. Questions concern the performance of pubic agencies and our methods are experimental research designs. The performance of public agencies is a longstanding concern in policy, practice and academia. Research has typically focused on two themes. First, studies have sought to isolate management practices that result in enhanced organizational performance while understanding the limitations that organizational environments place on these achievements. Second, a large body of research has been conducted on one of the most persistent reforms seen in the public sector that is directed to higher levels of governmental outcomes: performance information use (PIU). In this arena studies have sought to understand the barriers and facilitators of systems of performance management. The panel builds upon this evidence base by examining longstanding questions about public-private differences in performance and the ways in which performance information is used. The panel also contributes towards these debates by taking perspectives from a number of stakeholders. The majority of the published research takes the organization as the unit of analysis and delves inside public agencies from the perspective of managers. This panel seeks to move the debate forward by examining questions of public-private differences and PIU from different stakeholder perspective: citizens, managers, politicians and users. Public-private differences, or publicness, research has sought to isolate the organizational characteristics and the most effective organizational design to deliver high quality public services. Citizens’ views, as consumers of public services, are paramount yet little systematic research is conducted on their preferences. Given this we delve into citizen’s preferences for public and private service providers and explore their choices among public services. The exploration of PIU takes evidence from citizens, managers and politicians. Public agencies are guided by politicians to deliver services to the public, thus an understanding of these stakeholder views, perceptions and attitudes is critical to better organizational design. Public management research has paid more attention to citizens than to politicians. Questions of performance gaps and the expectations of citizens are now well established in the literature and research has sought to understand how to involve citizens in systems of PIU. The panel develops this knowledge base by examining citizen, manager politician and user attitudes and bias towards different types of performance information delivered in alternative ways. The dominant research design in public administration and management is observational. Studies of performance impact and PIU have largely relied upon case studies with a more limited number of investigations implementing quasi-experimental research designs that seek to take account of causality through time lags. In this panel questions of performance and PIU will be placed under the empirical microscope by examining relationships in detail while controlling for confounding effects, thereby facilitating the isolation of cause-and-effect relationships to deliver evidence-based policy. Furthermore, the panel builds upon international evidence from Asia, Europe and Latin and North America.