Public Management Bulletin #25

Building a Better System for Today and Tomorrow: Municipal Performance Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, March 24, 2023

Local government managers know that management is never easy. In recent years, however, they have faced situations in which “never easy” has become “almost impossible.” Job turnover and workforce transformation, social unrest, natural disasters, and a global pandemic have presented substantial new challenges. Proactive public managers need to prepare their organizations to handle unexpected crises that have the potential to get even worse.

This bulletin explores how building good management practices and systems allows jurisdictions to better respond to stressful circumstances. In specifically looking at performance management systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that many organizations tended to fall back on their existing capacity, relying on procedures they were most comfortable with. Our results show that if public managers take the time to invest in and implement beneficial practices during periods of relative stability, they will be more prepared to handle any crisis that arises.

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