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What Should We Know About Politicians’ Performance Information Need and Use?

abstract The question of legislators’ use of performance information is crucial, since – among others purposes – data on outputs and outcomes is meant to inform about the performance of public managers, programs as well as organizations, and ultimately to influence the allocation of financial means. Limited empirical evidence on parliamentarians’ performance information behavior provides contradictory findings with respect to the extent to which this new kind of data is used. This paper aims to draw an outline of the insights we have about politicians’ information need and use in general. It sets a particular focus on the question of how the use of performance information by politicians could be analyzed more systematically in the future by referring to conceptual treatments of earlier periods or allied disciplines. We show how future research could profit by shifting the focus of analysis from the isolated analysis of performance information to the context-bounded politician and her information needs, by considering the political rationale with respect to the information-decision nexus, and by including possibilities of symbolic or strategic types of performance information utilization. Conceiving politicians as need-driven and goal-oriented information users requires a different definition of what data inform about performance.

IPMR
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Information Needs Information Use, Performance Information, Policy Positions, Politicians
   
project Politicians' Information Need and Use (PINU)
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 31-10-2012
journal International Public Management Review
publisher International Public Management Network (IPMN) (St. Gallen)
ISSN 1662-1387
volume of journal 13
number of issue 02/2012
page(s) 85-111
review double-blind review
   
citation Demaj, L., & Summermatter, L. (2012). What Should We Know About Politicians’ Performance Information Need and Use?. International Public Management Review, 13(02/2012), 85-111.