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At least since the late 1970s, the performance measurement literature has used different terminologies to describe agency- and citizen-generated performance measures. The first type of measures are placed into objective and the second type into subjective categories. This article argues that this terminology is outdated owing to evidence on the contextual subjectivity of all performance measures. The analysis also examines the potential impact of the dichotomization on the role accorded citizens in helping to develop public sector performance measures.
Since the Progressive Era, efficiency has been a cherished administrative value and a key concept in the study of public administration. Despite contemporary attention to other criteria, such as responsiveness and equity, efficiency remains a guiding governmental value and a focus of scholarly writing. Although efficiency is often considered an apolitical value, this article argues that public sector efficiency receives meaning through a political framework. The analysis explores changing definitions of transit efficiency to propose a revitalized, politically attuned concept.
This article uses archival research to analyze the role of the New York School of Philanthropy as a precursor to the Bureau of Municipal Research (BMR) Training School, which is generally considered the first professional public administration program in America. The article argues that the two organizations had similar curricula and aspirations in the early Progressive period, particularly from 1907 to 1912, but that subsequently their paths diverged; the School of Philanthropy became associated with social work education rather than public administration and policy development. The argument is made that the subsequent divergence aided enforcing stereotypical gender assumptions in both fields and the disappearance of female pioneers from public administration history and textbooks between 1920 and the 1990s. As donor pressure sparked the divergence, the article also contributes to understanding the role of funding agents in setting public administration's research agenda.
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