Bureaucratic gaming: causes and consequences for policy-making

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performance management (PM) systems are now widely used by governments to hold public organisations to account for the delivery of public policies. Yet, numerous empirical studies have reported that these systems have encouraged bureaucrats to manipulate their behaviour and engage in gaming of performance measures and targets. This article on bureaucratic gaming of performance measures and targets addresses three questions. First, what is bureaucratic gaming? Second, what are the primary causes of bureaucratic gaming? Third, what are the main consequences of bureaucratic gaming for policy-making? A review of empirical studies on bureaucratic gaming points to issues relating to policy performance, the well-being of policy-takers, and policy actors’ trust in PM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Public Policy
Issue number5-6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2022


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