PMS in the magistrates courts of Botswana: the unintended consequences of public service change
PublisherAcademic Journals, http://www.academicjournals.org
MetadataShow full item record
This paper explores the implementation of public sector performance reforms in Botswana magistrate courts to improve service delivery. The authors argue that it is imperative for management to consider the possibility of the unintended outcomes in public sector reforms something that is normally ignored when introducing change. Critical realist philosophy has been adopted as a guiding paradigm for this study. The main contention is that the social world exists independently of the researcher. In this study realist philosophy was used together with the case study methodology to give context. In the courts performance management was supposed to help improve service delivery by reducing court congestion, legal costs, and delays. However, the findings suggest that this has not been the case because of gaming and manipulation of performance measures. A principal constraint in writing this paper was the absence of relevant literature in Botswana. Data was sourced from one organisation used as a case study. Problems like the backlogs of cases and delays affect both the fairness and efficiency of the judicial system. Efficiency has to take account of other factors. Developing performance management systems that incorporate measurement and evaluation in the public sector continues to be a key challenge. Both the positive and negative effects of PMS must be embraced.