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ITB Lecturer to publish in top International Journal

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15/12/2016 11:45:09


ITB Lecturer, Dr. Francis McGeough has had an article accepted by Financial Accountability and Management, one of the leading international academic journals in the area of public and charitable sectors. Financial Accountability and Management aims to publish new thinking and research in the financial accountability, accounting, and financial and resource management.



The article is titled 'The failed implementation of performance management in Irish central government' and is co-authored with Professor Matthias Beck from Queen's University Belfast. The article examines the implementation of performance management among agencies operating under the control of government departments, such as the Central Statistics Office and Ordnance Survey Ireland.



Internationally, there has been a trend towards expecting the public sector to be more 'business like' in terms of defining clear objective. It is advocated that each of these objectives should have specific targets and so actual performance can be measured against these targets to identify if the organisation is achieving these stated objectives or not. However, such processes ignore the complexity of decision making in a political context. For example, public sector organisations often have competing objectives due to the wide range of stakeholders involved.



Ireland's Strategic Management Initiative was launched in 1994 and aimed to improve public services delivery. In line with public sector reforms in other countries, it placed strong emphasis on performance management in public sector organisations. Many of these initiatives stressed the need for strategic planning and performance monitoring. The overall impact of these reforms was deemed disappointing, with the OECD reporting in 2008 that the Irish public sector lacked a performance culture. This paper utilises a series of interviews with senior managers in order to identify why performance management did not gain traction and, highlight some of the complex contextual factors which undermined this agenda.


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