Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Mary V. Wenning, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Daniel N. Warshawsky, Ph.D. (Committee Member); David M. Bukovinsky, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


As the dominant public management paradigm today, performance measurement and management systems are fundamental to increasing efficiency, accountability, and service quality in the public sector. Research into the practice at all levels of government has been expanding for decades in developed countries. However, the small local governments that comprise most U.S. municipalities are frequently overlooked as a topic of academic inquiry in public administration. This study aims to shed light on the extent to which the performance measurement methods prevalent at the state and federal levels have spread to small municipalities. Using elite interviewing methods and the four-point approach to sampling for interview-based research, 15 public officials were randomly recruited from Ohio communities with populations of 5,000 and less to participate in semi-structured interviews focused around performance measurement use in their municipalities. Key findings reveal low levels of familiarity with the concept, minimal use of performance measures in service areas, no use of measures in partnerships and service agreements, and low levels of familiarity with formal strategic planning methods. Participant perceptions of citizen engagement and participation in the governing process were mixed. The study concludes with a discussion of results, limitations of the study design, and implications for future research.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Urban Affairs and Geography

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.