Constitutive Effects of Performance Indicators: Getting Beyond Unintended Consequences

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The idea that performance indicators in public management have unintended consequences is almost as old as performance measurement itself. But, is ‘unintended consequences’ an appropriate and insightful idea? The very term rests on an identification of intentions and assumptions about validity that are demonstrably problematic. Based on a distinction between trivial and advanced measure fixation, an argument is made for constitutive effects that are based on less problematic assumptions. Through this conceptual move, the political dimension of performance indicators is appreciated. The conceptual dimensions of constitutive effects are carved out, empirical illustrations of their applicability are offered and implications discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Management Review (Print)
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)969-986
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ID: 120519149