Benchmarking through Municipal Benchmarking Networks: Improvement or Leveling of Performance?
2012 (English)In: Public Performance & Management Review, ISSN 1530-9576, E-ISSN 1557-9271, Vol. 36, no 1, 102-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Benchmarking has received much attention in local government.However, since benchmarking within a networking environment is quite a recent phenomenon, there is a need for better understanding of the impact of these networks on local government. This article describes municipal benchmarking networks and analyzes and categorizes variations in action and performance among municipalities participating in them. The data are drawn from the National Benchmarking Project (NBP): document studies of 100 reports, 2 surveys, 3 focus groups, and 64 interviews in 12 municipalities. The study shows that the capacity for action-oriented use of benchmarking is weak. Poor performers often blamed their own actions and performance on exogenous factors or methodological flaws. And some excellent performers used the results as a reason to reduce performance. Thus, the NBP actually triggered a behavior that led to the “average” rather than the “best practice” being promoted as the norm.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 36, no 1, 102-123 p.
benchmarking, efficiency, impact, networking, performance
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126980DOI: 10.2753/PMR1530-9576360105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-126980DiVA: diva2:918379