Performance Management

School: School of Government
Institute of Local Government Studies

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Full time: weekly 2 hour seminars, Part time: 2 x 2 full day seminars

This module focuses on the linkages between the pursuit of positive outcomes – making a difference - for service users, citizens and communities management and the achievement of value for money through an emphasis on performance management.

Commencing with an exploration of the important notion of outcomes, alongside the other key management concerns of outputs, processes and inputs, the module examines in both theoretical and empirical terms the relationships between outcomes, performance and resources. In so doing, the module addresses an agenda of issues that now form part of the core of contemporary public management and with which all successful public managers must engage.

Teaching and learning approach

Unit One

  • Economics of performance
  • Principal agent theory, performance and the economics of bureaucracy
  • Performance indicators,
  • Signalling and gaming
  • Quality, equality, outcomes and service effectiveness: theory, policy and practice Defining outcome indicators
  • A hierarchy of outcomes, outputs, processes and inputs
  • Involving users, communities and other stakeholders in planning monitoring and evaluating outcomes
  • Public sector efficiency
  • Preparation for first assignment

Unit Two

  • Public Service Interventions, Audit and Inspection
  • Charging for public services Devolved finance and performance
  • Turning around case examples – group exercise
  • Budgeting
  • Module Review
  • Preparation for 2nd assignment

Learning outcomes

Aims and objectives, participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the key roles and relationships in financial and resource management
  • Locate public sector financial management within its public management framework and mechanisms for channeling resources
  • Be able to participate at a strategic level in debates on the policy process in developing appropriate financial and resource management systems and policies
  • Understand the relationship between outcomes, performance management and resource management and to be able to critically evaluate outcomes and performance
  • Have a clear understanding of the concepts concerned with efficiency, value for money and effectiveness
  • Understand modern approaches to resource management including devolved financial management, the use of charging and public private partnerships in project finance
  • Develop critical and analytical skills for application in a variety of contexts
  • Assimilate and synthesise information from different sources and organise them in a coherent manner to answers, reports and essays


The module will be assessed through the completion of two written assignment:

  • 2 x 3,000 word assignments (each 50%)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.