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Title:Evaluating Public Sector Employee Performance: Police Productivity as a Case Study (goal-Setting, Law Enforcement, Highway Traffic Safety)
Author(s):Lowenstein, Henry
Department / Program:Labor and Industrial Relations
Discipline:Labor and Industrial Relations
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, Public Administration
Abstract:Public demands and budget constraints have brought new attention to the issue of improving public sector employee performance; especially in essential public services. Public agencies have traditionally sought to improve performance through job restructuring, reduced manpower, and the adoption of new technology. Rarely, however, have agencies looked to the reform of their own internal personnel performance evaluation systems as a means of stimulating improved performance.
This research represents a case study of police personnel management in which it is shown that police traffic services performance can be improved through the use of performance evaluation systems based on public safety results. Through an extensive literature review, the author traces the history of police performance evaluation; concluding that a major impediment to police performance has been the traditional use of invalid performance evaluation systems; rarely based on public goals.
Phase 2 of the research creates a new measurement device for traffic officers; the safety index. A composite overall indicator of area traffic safety, the index was used to evaluate the effectiveness of specialized traffic officer training programs. In addition, a field experiment was conducted in which police participated in a safety goal-setting program for 6 months. In the program, officers were evaluated based on their contribution to traffic safety on the safety index (not traffic ticket production). The program resulted in a significant, 30% improvement in traffic safety while at the same time, the volume of traffic tickets issued declined.
The final phase of the research involved an analysis of pretest and posttest questionnaires completed by participating police officers. These revealed officer attitudes toward training, traffic enforcement, job satisfaction, performance evaluation and the safety index. The effect of the safety goal-setting program on training effectiveness and job satisfaction was tested and found to be neutral.
This study concluded that measurements-of-results can be successfully developed and utilized in performance evaluation systems for police officers. Furthermore, when combined with goal-setting techniques, such a system can produce significant improvements in public safety at minimal cost and without negatively affecting employee morale.
Issue Date:1984
Description:398 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8422123
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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