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Managing upward, downward and outward


  • Laurence J O'Toole, Jr
  • Kenneth J Meier
  • Sean Nicholson-Crotty


It is particularly difficult, but also valuable, to try to estimate the relative contributions of different managerial functions to the outcomes of public programs. Building from a formal treatment of public management and performance, this study explores this research task with empirical analyses of several hundred public organizations and their top managers over a five-year period. Using Moore's distinction among managing upward toward political principals, downward toward organizational agents and outward toward the networked environment, we examine managerial impacts on ten different performance criteria. Findings validate the points that these three functions are distinct, public management has performance-relevant impacts and managerial networking outward can be an important contributor to the achievement of public objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J O'Toole, Jr & Kenneth J Meier & Sean Nicholson-Crotty, 2005. "Managing upward, downward and outward," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 45-68, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pubmgr:v:7:y:2005:i:1:p:45-68
    DOI: 10.1080/1471903042000339419

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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    Cited by:

    1. Suhaeniti & Sangyub Ryu, 2013. "Gender, Middle Manager Management, And Performance: Evidence From Indonesian Public Schools," Working Papers EMS_2013_08, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    2. Fredrik Lindencrona & Solvig Ekblad & Runo Axelsson, 2009. "Modes of Interaction and Performance of Human Service Networks," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 191-215, March.

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