Objective and subjective performance measures: A note on terminology

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56 Scopus citations


At least since the late 1970s, the performance measurement literature has used different terminologies to describe agency- and citizen-generated performance measures. The first type of measures are placed into objective and the second type into subjective categories. This article argues that this terminology is outdated owing to evidence on the contextual subjectivity of all performance measures. The analysis also examines the potential impact of the dichotomization on the role accorded citizens in helping to develop public sector performance measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-567
Number of pages18
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


  • Citizen participation
  • Performance measurement
  • Public administration methodology


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