Chan Su Jung provides a thorough review of goal ambiguity in the public sector, exploring the general assertions, arguments and empirical evidence regarding performance goal ambiguity, particularly highlighting its causes, consequences, and mediation effects. The author proposes a new conceptual framework for successful analysis of goal ambiguity that can effectively relate to diverse organizational and program characteristics.
Using U.S. federal programs, South Korean central government agencies, and English local authorities as examples, Jung empirically tests his framework to validate the new approach for goal ambiguity analysis. The author corroborates management capacity, third-party involvement, learning times, size, and work complexity as predictors of goal ambiguity and performance. In addition, Jung studies political insulation structures as moderators between management capacity and goal ambiguity, along with the negative effect of goal ambiguity on performance. Based on these empirical findings, the author provides clear and transferable principles to guide further theoretical and conceptual studies on the topic.
An essential read for quantitative researchers and doctoral students of public management and policy, this book will guide future empirical studies on goal ambiguity and performance in the public sector.