The determinants of organisational performance in parts of the local British public services using CPA and CAA

  • David Goodchild

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The research investigated the factors that are associated with organisational performance in British local public services using the national assessment frameworks of Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) and Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA). Performance measurement was said by Behn (1995) to be one of the big questions of public management and the literature demonstrates this remains the case. More generally performance management has been the subject of a large number of studies, many in the private sector, that often consider a narrow spectrum of explanatory factors. This research is unusual in studying a relatively large number of possible explanations of performance using three different methods of inquiry: longitudinal questionnaire surveys of four types of local public service organisations, a content analysis of strategic documents and the use of organisational profiles regarding the post bureaucratic construct (Kernaghan, 2000). The research relied on the CPA and CAA results to provide an independent assessment of organisational performance; such data is not usually available for public services. CPA has been found to have driven up local government performance (Boyne, James and John et al, 2010) and therefore its use is very appropriate.The analysis used correlation to identify the significant (p<0.05) criteria which were then put through a principal component analysis (PCA). This resulted in the identification of 11 summary factors with the strongest five being Strategy, Performance management, Human resources, Culture and Engagement. Factors of lesser importance are Resources, Leadership, Reputation and Innovation. The term ‘summary factors’ has been used to denote that within each of these there are potentially a number of parts.The research can be used practically by organisations, to improve, by comparing their results on the questionnaire with the criteria associated with high organisational performance. Further, the summary factors provide confidence regarding what may be the most critical areas to be addressed.
Date of Award19 Jun 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorIain Handley-Schachler (Supervisor)

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