“Can Performance Management Foster Social Equity? Stakeholder Power, Protective Institutions, and Minority Representation,” which is forthcoming in Public Administration, is now available online through Early View.
Abstract: “Performance management has been criticised for harming or, at best, ignoring social equity outcomes. While there is evidence suggesting that performance management fosters an emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness at the expense of other public values, we are still in search of a theory linking performance management to social equity. The article takes a first step towards the development of such a theory and proposes the importance of contingency factors. It argues that managerial performance information use will benefit disadvantaged groups in the presence of powerful stakeholders, protective institutions, and minority representation in government. Using data on school districts in Texas, the article finds support for the first two contingency factors but not the third one. Performance information use by superintendents increases test scores of disadvantaged students if these students make up a sizable, powerful group, and if superintendents put emphasis on complying with the No Child Left Behind Act.”