Multi-layered accountability. Performance funding of universitiesNov 2 2011
In most Western countries there has been an increasing demand for new and different types of audit, evaluation and reporting systems that reveal the output of public sector organizations (Pollitt and Bouckaert 2000). Quality assessments have had a profound impact on the funding of university research, most visibly in the UK. However, the relationship between qualitative and quantitative indicators of research performance has been an ongoing source of debate (Bence and Oppenheim 2004). By exploring four different types of accountability relations, this paper investigates different stakeholders’ perceptions of whether or not performance funding increases accountability and transparency, and poses the following questions: Does performance funding result in high accountability and high transparency? Does high accountability imply high transparency? Does high transparency lead to low accountability? Three main empirical sources have been utilized: a comprehensive survey of faculty at Norwegian higher education institutions, a stakeholder survey, and data from case studies of four universities.