A Multiple–Indicator Approach to Municipal Service Evaluation: Correlating Performance Measurement and Citizen Satisfaction across Jurisdictions

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Abstract

Early work on municipal service–quality assessment recommended multiple measures of performance from both providers and users. Citizen satisfaction surveys have rivaled their more quantitative counterpart, administrative performance measures, in adoption, but the implication of survey results for action is not well understood by managers or scholars. To achieve meaningfully integrated multiple measures of service quality, we need to explore the dimensions of citizen satisfaction and review patterns of satisfaction across localities. We also need to understand the relationship between administrative performance measures and citizen perceptions. This cross–sectional analysis of municipal citizen satisfaction and performance benchmark data suggests that citizen satisfaction survey results are useful to managers in conjunction with performance–measurement programs as part of a multiple–indicator approach to evaluating municipal service quality. However, understanding citizen perceptions requires a different perspective than that applied to administrative service performance measurement.

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