In responding to the demand for change and improvement, local government has applied a plethora of operations management-based methods, tools and techniques. This article explores how these methods, specifically in the form of performance management models, are used to improve alignment between central government policy and local government practice, an area which has thus far been neglected in the literature. Using multiple case studies from Environmental Waste Management Services, this research reports that models derived in the private sector are often directly implanted into the public sector. This has challenged the efficacy of all performance management models. However, those organisations which used models most effectively did so by embedding (contextualisation) and extending (reconceptualisation) them beyond their original scope. Moreover, success with these models created a cumulative effect whereby other operations management approaches were probed, adapted and used.
- local government
- operations management
- performance management models
- service level