Analyzing Performance Skewness in Public Agencies: The Case of Urban Mass Transit

HERMAN L. BOSCHKEN, San Jose State University


Previous studies of public organizational performance have focused mostly on operating efficiency, without dealing with the complex accountability problems associated with plural public interests. The fact that an agency exhibits multiple and often paradoxical performances has not been of comparable concern. This failure to account for performance in a multiple-constituencies context has led to a narrow view of how well agencies do. To broaden the research on agency performance, a multiple-constituencies model is introduced and tested for statistically significant variances. The findings confirm the model's robustness in structuring a dependent variable for empirical research on why agencies perform toward different public interests. Using data from UMTA Section 15 reporting, the model is applied to urban mass transit.

A paper from which this article was revised received the 1990 Herbert Kaufman Award presented by the American Political Science Association.