NPM introduced the concept of performance in the public sector. But performance can be understood in many ways. Performance is not a hard fact, it has an inter-subjective character. The social mechanisms that construct performance are yet to be uncovered. Moreover, the use of performance information in management is only one manifestation of a wider phenomenon: the increasing use of indicator-based information in order to make public decision making and governing more evidence-based and technocratic. This indicator-based governance affects the positions of politicians, citizens, and civil servants and their relations. Also, despite the emphasis on performance and other indicator-based information, the reputation and legitimacy of public behaviour and organizations is determined by many other factors. We study the dynamics that determine indicator-based information, and how this information is used by different actors for accountability and learning within the public sector as well as for governing societal problems. Also effects of indicator-based governance are analysed.
Key interests: performance, performance management, performance measurement, collaboration complexity, PA performance, accountability