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Organizational Report Cards

Organizational Report Cards

William T. Gormley, Jr., David L. Weimer

ISBN 9780674643505

Publication date: 03/01/1999

In recent years, consumers, professional organizations, government officials, and third-party payers have become increasingly concerned about how to assess the quality of the services provided by organizations in both the private and the public sectors. One new approach is the organizational report card, which compares the performance of organizations such as public schools, colleges, hospitals, and HMOs.

This book offers the first comprehensive study of such instruments. It discusses the circumstances under which they are desirable alternatives to other policy instruments, such as regulation; how they should be designed; who is likely to use them and for what purpose; and what role, if any, government should have in their creation. Informed by cases drawn from education, health, and other policy areas, this book develops a conceptual framework for analyzing these issues. It explores the tradeoffs in measuring performance, the methods of communicating results effectively to mass and elite audiences, and the ways in which organizations respond to the data gathered.


  • Political scientists Gormley and Weimer offer an insightful and well-written account of an increasingly popular policy tool they refer to as the ‘organizational report card.’ As they conceive it, the ‘organizational report card’ is a policy instrument that enhances accountability by providing performance measurements of public and private sector organizations. After elaborating the rationale and history of organizational report cards, the authors consider the methodological challenges associated with designing such instruments… This thoughtful book will be of special value to those interested in policy studies and public administration. Highly recommended for graduate students and faculty as well as practitioners/professionals.

    —G. L. Malecha, Choice


  • William T. Gormley, Jr., is Professor of Government and Public Policy, Georgetown University.
  • David L. Weimer is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, University of Rochester.

Book Details

  • 288 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press