Performance information utilisation in The City of Cape Town Metro Municipality

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

This study looked into performance information (PI) utilisation behaviour of senior officials in the City of Cape Town Metro Municipality (CoCT). Inspired by comments around performance information having minimal effects despite its prodigious production, the study sought to determine how performance information is used and how a local government context affects utilisation behaviour. This was assessed based on conceptual approaches identified in the literature i.e. rational, and symbolic approaches to performance information, the latter subsuming both political and cultural approaches to information use. Additionally, contingency theory was referred to in order to better accommodate the notion of context and to combine the various approaches to use into one framework. A survey was administered and semi–structured interviews held with key informants to better explore this phenomenon. Descriptive and correlation analysis was carried out, with findings showing that directors use PI in both rational and symbolic ways. Both types of performance information use were affected by a range of factors, the more predominant ones being resource, internal and external environmental variables. This corroborated various other findings that state that rational approaches to information use, indeed performance management, are insufficient in providing a holistic picture of what shapes bureaucratic behaviour.