Do government tools influence organizational performance? Examining their implementation in early childhood education

Jodi R Sandfort, Sally Coleman Selden, Jessica E. Sowa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article explores whether the multiple tools used by government to implement social policy influence organizational performance. This analysis focuses on three tools-grants, contracts, and vouchers-and their use in the field of early childhood care and education. Through analysis of a field-based study of 22 organizations, the authors explore qualitative evidence and examine the relative consequences of each tool using multivariate modeling. The authors conceptualize organizational performance along four dimensions-management capacity, management outcomes, program capacity, and program outcomes-to better explore how government tools influence organizations delivering publicly funded services. Findings reveal that the different tools the government uses to implement early childhood programs have distinct consequences; grants have the most significant, positive consequences on a variety of desirable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-438
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Government tools
  • Implementation
  • Nonprofits
  • Performance
  • Policy tools

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