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Accountability, environmental uncertainty and government performance: evidence from Dutch municipalities

This paper examines the call from NPM to place more emphasis on measuring the performance of subunits and holding managers accountable for results. Following a contingency-approach, it is expected that holding managers accountable for results will only lead to improved performance if certain conditions are fulfilled. The data was collected from a series of semi-structured interviews with 19 managers of Dutch municipalities and four experts.The results show that instead of output indicators, throughput indicators are used for holding managers accountable. Managers do not consider environmental uncertainty (including uncertainties from the political environment) as an impediment to implementing accountable management. It appears that the attitude of municipal managers towards accountability and towards uncertainty depends to a large extent on the way accounting information is used. Especially organizational conditions, such as the attitude of superiors, a results-oriented organizational climate and the creation of a ‘game spirit’, seem to improve government performance.

پاسخگویی، عدم قطعیت محیطی و عملکرد دولت: شواهدی از شهرداری هلندی

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