Can the same key open different locks? Administrative values underlying performance measurement in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Hon S. Chan
  • Jie Gao


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-380
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


Can one policy instrument be used to accomplish administrative values with different or even conflicting attributes? In his well-known theoretical framework of three clusters of administrative values, Hood argues that management designs that prioritize certain values will be less capable of accomplishing other values. An incompatibility problem exists if one seeks to integrate different sets of values into the same management design. This article further develops Hood's framework by introducing a new set of values that are highly stressed in regimes with a unified politics-administration. Based on a case study of the Chinese performance measurement system, this article argues that different sets of values can be accomplished, though unevenly, by the same management design. Although incompatibility appears, its extent can be neutralized to a degree so that all sets of values are more or less accomplished, without some succeeding at the cost of others. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.