Purpose – the article aims to understand why performance management schemes or targeting were introduced in the dutch police organisation after 2002. This question is relevant for two reasons. First, dutch political culture is traditionally not overly concerned with performance of public organisations, and second, police work seems especially averse to targeting.design/methodology/approach – the article explores changes in dutch politics, and especially the rise and agenda of pim fortuyn, a flamboyant politician who disrupted the traditional political relations in the dutch polity, and who put government performance on top of the political agenda. Analysis of secondary sources is used to track the response of police management, and field work is used to investigate the reactions of street level police officers.findings – the introduction of targeting is directly attributable to changes in the polity. As such, they represent a pendulum swing that will move back, especially when the limitations of targeting will become clear, and when the political discourse has moved on to topics other than public accountability.practical implications – managers of public organisations could learn from this case that political pressure can have far-reaching consequences, which cannot always be ignored, and can lead to far-reaching effects in the organisation, that may be counterproductive.originality/value – this article asks simple questions: why are dutch police forces using performance contracts involving targets negotiated between the department of home affairs, the mayor and the police chief? why were they introduced from 2002 on? and will they be a lasting practice in the dutch police?.
|International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
|Published - 1 Jan 2005