The Emergence and Divergence in Performance: Management Systems in California State Government

Richard Callahan


An understudied aspect of performance management systems is how performance management systems emerge in public agencies. This research focuses on the emergence of performance management systems, studying two cases with divergent outcomes in the State of California. The first case study is about the Performance Management Council, which included the voluntary participation of more than 20 California state agencies, departments, and divisions. The second case study is about the Department of Toxic Substances Control within the California Environmental Protection Agency. These cases, which impacted 35 million residents in a state with a $200 billion annual budget, potentially offer findings valuable to nations and to large sub-national units of government such as large states, districts, and provinces.

This research offers three contributions to public sector performance management research literature. First, it addresses a gap in the understanding of how performance management systems emerge through dialogue and learning forums. Second, the research extends the study of performance management to the policy arenas of environmental protection, water resources, and other policy domains typically not researched in performance management. Third, the research connects performance management to the research on the reform of public agencies, diffusion of practices, and organizational change.


performance management; reform of public agencies; state government; learning forums; public management

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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University.