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Budgets? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Budgets: Ten Things We Think We Think We Know about Budgeting and Performance

Authors:

Ken Smith ,

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, Box 353055, Seattle, WA 98195-3055, U.S.A.
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Fred Thompson

Center for Governance and Public Policy Research, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, OR 97301, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Learning is the only sure way to achieve ongoing performance improvement. Budgeting and learning are fundamentally orthogonal processes. Budgeting stabilizes, which is a good thing in itself, and promotes economy, but it discourages understanding of variation. Learning requires perturbation and measurement. Given the processes through which service accomplishment and operational excellence are realized, it is unlikely that budgeting, as generally practiced in government, can promote continuous improvement in enterprise performance.

How to Cite: Smith, K., & Thompson, F. (2012). Budgets? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Budgets: Ten Things We Think We Think We Know about Budgeting and Performance. Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences, 3(1), 53–66. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ssas.39
Published on 31 Dec 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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