Managing Expectations to Create High Performance Government

Deborah A Blackman, Fiona Buick, Janine O'Flynn, Michael O’Donnell, Damian West

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Enhanced performance has been the focus of public administration and management research for years. High performance organizations have characteristics that differentiate them from others; they also utilize high performance work practices (HPWPs). A core HPWP is performance management, which seeks to align individual performance with organizational outcomes. We posit that performance management can enable high performance through managing employee expectations. Drawing on a study undertaken in the Australian Public Service, we demonstrate how using an expectancy theory lens helps explain how performance management can support high performance. We suggest that all three elements of expectancy theory—valance, expectancy, and instrumentality—need to be in place to support the creation of goal and role clarity, critical components of high performance. This offers practitioners a way of structuring effective conversations and scholars the opportunity to consider the theoretical implications of linking expectancy theories, performance management, and high performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-208
    JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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