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Management Activity and Program Performance: Gender as Management Capital


Kenneth J. Meier is the Charles Gregory Chair in Liberal Arts in the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University and a professor of public management in the Cardiff School of Business, Cardiff University. His research interests include empirical models of public management and questions of equity and public policy.

Laurence J. O’Toole, Jr. is the Margaret Hughes and Robert T. Golembiewski Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia and head of the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Much of his research focuses on policy implementation and management in networked

Holly T. Goerdel is assistant professor of public administration at the University of Kansas. She specializes in public management, comparative public policy and administration, and organization theory.


Do men and women manage differently? Do their efforts have different impacts on public program performance? Building from a formal treatment of public management and performance, this study investigates how the interaction of gender and management strategies influences organizational performance. Focusing on several hundred public organizations and their top managers over a three-year period, the analysis maps the gender question onto Mark Moore's distinction among managing upward toward political principals, downward toward organizational agents, and outward toward the networked environment. Findings indicate that women and men as top managers have different performance impacts, and these impacts vary by managerial function as well.