Jeremy Walding


The following thesis has set out to identify the current gaps in knowledge, literature and research surrounding performance management within the English National Health Service (NHS). A literature review and qualitative case study were conducted on the factors associated with organisational and strategic performance management within the English NHS. The study sets out to close the gaps in knowledge surrounding performance management to identify an alternative approach towards delivery. Current literature indicates that performance management frameworks within the NHS that may have been influenced by the impact of New Public Management movement approaches are very much based on a ‘command and control' accountability structure. Past literature has highlighted that ‘command and control' may not be the most effective approach to adopt (Seddon, 2003) by the NHS and may have the potential to lead to dysfunctional behaviours (Grizzle, 2002), such as, gaming, cheating or chasing perverse incentives (Marr, 2008). To explore the phenomena further the thesis has conducted qualitative ethnographical research on the perspectives and realities of English NHS staff to uncover the factors surrounding performance management. As a result of the investigation, a proposed new model and a set of recommendations emerged to support the future design and approach of performance management, therefore, providing a valuable contribution to the creation of knowledge in the chosen field.

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