Implementation of performance management in regional government in Russia

Kalgin, Alexander (2015). Implementation of performance management in regional government in Russia. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of this project is to find whether the national system of performance measurement in the Russian public sector is affected by deliberate data manipulation. Using mixed methods I demonstrate that locally generated data are more likely to be manipulated than data reported by external agencies. Instead of improving managerial decisions, performance indicators have become a tool of symbolic bureaucratic accountability not linked to real managerial activities. 25 current and former civil servants from three regional governments in Russia were interviewed (including three ministers of economic development); quantitative data were obtained from a publicly available performance dataset covering the period of 2007-2011 (with data for a unified list of over 300 indicators from 83 regional governments). Two strategies of data manipulation were identified: a “prudent bureaucrat” strategy consisted in minimizing long-term risks by reporting “more-normal-than-real” figures; a more ambitions “reckless bureaucrat” strategy aimed at inflating figures to maximise credit. Systematic application of these two strategies has produced a detectable bias in the overall performance data with “prudent bureaucrat” strategy dominating. Performance reporting creates a “bureaucratic panopticon” and resulting behaviour may be understood using Michel Foucault’s notion of normalisation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of International Development
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government


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