Episode: Dr Toby Lowe: why outcome-based performance management doesn’t work

The Systemic Insight podcast Logo
Dr Toby Lowe: why outcome-based performance management doesn’t work

In this episode, Marcus is talking to Dr Toby Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership and Management at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. Toby describes his purpose as an academic as helping improve the funding, commissioning and performance management of social interventions (across the public, private and voluntary sectors). His research team has used complexity theory to create a critique of New Public Management approaches, particularly highlighting the problems created by attempts to use Outcome-Based Performance Management (e.g. Payment by Results) in complex environments.

The discussion touches upon why outcome measures distort rather than enhance performance, why it leads to gaming becoming a rational strategy, and what the alternatives are for people who work in complex contexts. As Outcome-Based Performance Management is still the prevalent method to manage the performance of (economic) development projects, this discussion is highly relevant to our context.

This episode is packed with ideas and quite challenging thoughts, so enjoy it! We hope it will inspire your own explorations. If you are interested in sharing your experience of exploring the new paradigm or want to start exploring it, do get in touch with us.

Resources mentioned

The Systemic Insight podcast
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

The Systemic Insight podcast > An interview with Shamim Bodhanya about the characteristics of complex adaptive systems

  In this episode, Marcus interviews Dr Shamim Bodhanya. The podcast explores the origins of complex adaptive systems research and the application of its findings to development work. Bodhanya explains the characteristics of complex adaptive systems and their consequences in social systems such as the economy...

The Systemic Insight podcast > On Competitiveness

In this episode, Shawn and Marcus discuss the concept of competitiveness. The chat was inspired by some reading Marcus had been doing that condemned competition to be part of the driving force that makes our society so extractive and unequal. In particular, Marcus is using two quotes from Daniel Wahl’s book ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’ to exemplify the argument...

The Systemic Insight podcast > An interview with Jeanne Downing

Jeanne Downing, Senior Enterprise Development Advisor, Office of Microenterprise Development, USAID talks about the discussions she and her colleagues have within USAID about the necessity of using a systemic approach in development. She mentions the need to switch away from linear approaches towards approaches that are better able to capture the complexities of real world phenomena, especially when taking into account the new focus on resilience, which puts a further layer of complexity on the work in market systems...
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.