Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 10: Managing for high performance

Sergio Fernandez and Sun Young Kim


The quest to understand and improve organizational performance is among the enduring themes of public administration. Generic and public management scholars have set out to identify management practices and approaches related to high performance. This chapter aims to critically examine the literature on managing for high performance to assess the state of knowledge and evaluate the scope and quality of empirical evidence. We review and summarize six prominent research programs, the first three based on studies of private sector firms and the last three focusing on public organizations. Our review of this literature provides a research synthesis by identifying emerging points of consensus as well as unique contributions from the six research programs. Based on the research findings, we offer a series of eight propositions for public managers about what they can do to achieve high levels of performance and ensure the long-term success of their organizations.

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