A study of the applicability of performance indicators in the management of a professional service in the public sector.


Cook, Martin 2001. A study of the applicability of performance indicators in the management of a professional service in the public sector. Thesis University of East London
AuthorsCook, Martin

This research, via case study investigation of the Islington Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
examines the applicability of Performance Indicators (PIs) in the management of a professional
service in the public sector. The research explores the theoretical and political basis for the
introduction of PIs and tests their use by examining their strengths,w eaknessesa nd applicability
within a local context.
PIs are examined in relation to their usefulness in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of
service delivery within an inner city service. Key issues investigated include: performance
requirements linked to Special Educational Needs (SEN) resourcing, PIs generally in the SEN area,
and clients/stakeholdersd emandso n the service. PIs are examined in relation to their impact on the
short and long term delivery of the service.
The investigation covers the period 1992-1999, though draws on data from 1990 and extension work
undertaken in 2000. Utilising concepts from economic theory the research examines the psychological
service input to schools, SEN input from the schools themselves and school output measures. LEA PIs
are analysed to gain an overview of the strengths and weakness of the organisation and to determine
priorities for the development of the EPS. The research includes the active participation on the part of
the researcher/manager to generate and learn from the use of PIs. This exploration includes the
attempt to construct a managerial model for PIs. The research is pursued by the generation of a series
of case study questions. The experience of the researcher/manager is included as source data within
the analysis.
The research finds that PI systems are needed to measure `output' and `value added' as well as `input'
factors. Also demonstrated is the need for the EPS to be more clearly linked to the meeting of national
targets for raising achievement. PI systems are shown to be needed to facilitate team working,
commitment and professional ownership, ensure appropriateness of tasks and to support professional
re-alignment within the organisation. The research identifies the need for a local political as well as a
professional framework for the consideration and selection of PIs. The research proposes a model for
generating and selecting key PIs.
At a wider professional level the researchd emonstratesw eaknessesin managerial as well as
traditional professional control systems. Also shown is the limited potential of relying on
client/stakeholder feedback to determine successful functioning of systems. The research
demonstrates the need to address managerial, professional as well as client requirements. Key areas of
concern are identified in relation to national and local policy. To address this, recommendations are
made regarding policy at a national and local level in the use of PIs to assist planning, priority setting
and control functions in order to deliver quality professional services in the short and longer term.

Keywordspublic sector; Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1267
File Access Level
Registered users only
Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited11 May 2011
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

Permalink -


  • 35
    total views
  • 1
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as