Panel Paper: The Impact of Rational and Political Factors on Performance Measurement Adoption and Performance Information Use: Analysis of Elected Officials from Mississippi

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Truman - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Tamara Dimitijevska-Markoski, P. Edward French and Joseph “Dallas” Breen, Mississippi State University

The literature on performance measurement has been rapidly growing but our knowledge on why some local governments use performance information more than others remains insufficient. As there are more than 23, 000 local governments in the US, who vary greatly in their size, budget, and organizational structure, generalizing lessons from one context to another has proven to be a difficult task. This study focuses on municipalities in Mississippi and provides much needed analysis of the state of performance measurement and performance information use. The focus on Mississippi is well justified as the existing scholarship is mainly focused on exemplary or large cities, which applies to few municipalities in Mississippi. There are 298 cities in Mississippi, a vast majority of which (96%) are small cities, and there is limited information on their performance measurement and management practices. Therefore, this study provides answers to three main research questions. First, how often municipal governments in Mississippi measure their performance? Second, how municipalities use performance information? Third, what factors influence the adoption of performance measurement and use of performance information among municipal councilors? In order to provide answers to the above questions, this study draws form the rational/technocratic framework and political/cultural framework developed by de Lancer Julnes & Holzer (2001) and updates the factors of investigation by using the important and promising drivers identified by Kroll (2015). Through analysis of survey results administered to local government elected officials in 298 municipalities in Mississippi, the study draws lessons on the relative impact of rational and political factors and contributes to conceptual discussion of a theory of utilization.