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In Atlanta, teachers changed students’ test answers to keep their schools from failing and losing funding. In the healthcare field, hospitals have admitted people who would have been better served as outpatients, and delayed or denied care to others in the interest of meeting metrics. Bonuses to military recruiters led to widespread fraud. A program to shorten the citizenship application wait time compromised coordination and due process, and led administrators to omit entire groups from the statistics so that the effort would appear successful.

In each of these cases, the attempt was to put in place a system that encouraged high performance and to meet organizational goals. Instead, data was manipulated and fabricated, and people received worse –rather than better – services.

How can we avoid such “performance perversity?” Join us for a conversation about how to support the development of organizational systems that encourage desired behaviors and minimize the risk of unintended, negative behaviors:

  • Why does performance perversity occur?
  • What are the consequences?
  • What are strategies for building healthy performance systems and avoiding performance perversity?

Presenter

Donald Moynihan, Professor of Public Affairs, La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Discussant

Harry Hatry, Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Public Management Program, Urban Institute

Moderator

Ingvild Bjornvold, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Social Solutions