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Understanding the relationship between a national award scheme and performance

By Zoe Radnor

Abstract

This article, drawing on a large data set collected as part of the national evaluation of a UK public service award scheme, aims to understand its relationship with performance measurement, reporting and management. The data set collected over three years includes case study analyses, two national surveys and a staff survey. Through a framework of performance measurement and management, the article illustrates how there is little direct connection made between the award scheme and performance measurement and management, although recognition is made that they do support each other in driving and supporting improvement and performance. The article highlights the complexities of the current improvement landscape for many public services but supports the finding that many of the organizations in the sample are taking a corporate approach to the engagement with improvement activities and initiatives in order to support performance. Points for practitioners This article illustrates that award schemes can support performance, maybe not always directly with performance measures but in recognizing good ideas and practice for service improvement. Applying for an award, disseminating good practice or taking time to understand awarded practice from another organization all appear to have a positive impact on performance. It is also important to take a corporate approach to improvement. For many public service organizations, the number of initiatives focused on performance, improvement and service delivery is vast, from award schemes to audit and inspection regimes. Organizations need to decide which, what and when to engage with in order to support focused improvement and performance

Topics: JF
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0020852309337689
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:17217
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