The Contextual Forces Which Shape Performance Definition: Swinging Towards and Away from Sustainability

35 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2009

See all articles by Eric A. Scorsone

Eric A. Scorsone

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Emanuele Padovani

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Date Written: June 15, 2009

Abstract

While it is indisputable that performance measurement has become a centerpiece of governance in the late 20th and early 21st century, it is unclear in many cases if “performance” implies the same concept across cultures and countries. A variety of definitions of performance are in use among political and management actors, media and public opinion. The goal of this study is to use the occasion of two major public crises or disasters, the USA bridge collapse occurred in 2007 and the Italian garbage crisis appeared in the region of Naples at the end of 2007, as natural experiments to examine how, by whom and towards which directions performance expectations are established, altered and enforced over time. From the analysis of the two cases, we built up the concept of “performance equilibrium” which is useful, we argue, for researchers and practitioners in understanding the contextual forces which shape the definition of performance over time approaching or moving away from the concept of sustainability.

Keywords: performance, public sector, sustainability, crises

JEL Classification: H11, H54, H83, Q10, Q53

Suggested Citation

Scorsone, Eric A. and Padovani, Emanuele, The Contextual Forces Which Shape Performance Definition: Swinging Towards and Away from Sustainability (June 15, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1420142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1420142

Eric A. Scorsone (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
+1(517)353-9460 (Phone)
+1(517)432-1800 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.aec.msu.edu/faculty/scorsone.htm

Emanuele Padovani

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Forli' Campus
15, p.le Vittoria
Forli', FC I-47121
Italy
+39(0543)374-621 (Phone)
+39(0543)374-660 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibo.it/docenti/emanuele.padovani

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