Master Public Administration


This is an interesting book addressing Performance Information. Usually, you 

run across the term “Performance Measurement,” but this replaces 

“measurement” with “information” and, I think the difference is significant. OK, 

the book uses the term “Performance Management” in the title but attempting to 

measure performance is at the heart of what you are reading. 

How information is collected, who collects it, subsequently influences policy 

decisions regarding what needs to be addressed, or what we might call “reform.” 

How exactly is information used once it is collected? So, there is a relationship 

between what takes place on one side (all the information collected) and the 

other (using all that information in some reasonable and effective ways). 

Instead of thinking of the term “Performance Measurement” which sounds 

detached, objective, analytical, the term “Performance Information” raises a 

whole host of questions associated with a world that is more imperfect, where 

the subjective matters. As the author points out, there is information that is 

gathered and used to make changes or reforms but, at the same time, there is a 

selective process to what is accomplished. As a result, some aspects of 

performance measurement are not achieved or even tried. 

Issues such as agency leadership (at either the Federal or state level), a 

culture that pervades an organization, or other issues, influence the choices made 

in what is to be accomplished. 

So now it’s your part. Enjoy reading this book. Address the important points 

that you got out of the book—and take the time  to explain what is 

important and why. As part of your conclusion address a word: Cautious. This is 

what you want to be, cautious, when it comes to collecting information and going 

through the process of figuring out how to use it once collected. 

The book that you are reading is: 

Donald Moynihan, The Dynamics of Performance Management: Constructing 

Information and Reform (Wash. D.C., Georgetown University Press, 2008) 

1) minimum of five pages. 

2) Besides covering what you need to from above, comment on what you 

think about this book and why. The “and why” means that you want to get 

to specifics. Think in terms of, just for example, “Here are three points I 

want to raise about this book and here is the reason I want to address 

them.” So avoid generalizations regarding your opinions on the book.