Subjective and Objective Measures of Police Service Delivery

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Brown, Karin, and Philip B. Coulter. 1983. Subjective and Objective Measures of Police Service Delivery. Public Administration Review 43(1): 50-58.

This award winning paper – it received the William E. Mosher Award – is an early contribution to the theory and methodology of performance indicators.  Using empirical research techniques, it shows that citizens’ subjective measures of performance are unrelated to objective measures of service delivery – citizens evaluate services against what they expect to get, not what providers know they deliver.  This is a paper that demonstrates how the deployment of quantitative analysis can directly inform public policy.  This paper led to more rigorous works conducted later. One of them is Parks’ PAR article entitled “Linking Objective and Subjective Measures of Performance (1984).” It annual citation rate of 2.17 demonstrates its continuing relevance. – Editorial Board

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