Managing upward, downward and outward: Networks, hierarchical relationships and performance

Laurence J. O'Toole, Kenneth J. Meier, Sean Nicholson-Crotty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    110 Citations (Scopus)
    11 Downloads (Pure)


    It is particularly difficult, but also valuable, to try to estimate the relative contributions of different managerial functions to the outcomes of public programs. Building from a formal treatment of public management and performance, this study explores this research task with empirical analyses of several hundred public organizations and their top managers over a five-year period. Using Moore's distinction among managing upward toward political principals, downward toward organizational agents and outward toward the networked environment, we examine managerial impacts on ten different performance criteria. Findings validate the points that these three functions are distinct, public management has performance-relevant impacts and managerial networking outward can be an important contributor to the achievement of public objectives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-68
    JournalPublic management review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Management
    • Networks
    • Performance
    • Public organizations


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