In this paper we argue that performance measurement can better be done by general, less accurate measurements than by complex – and possible more accurate - ones. The conclusions of this study are drawn from a case study of the Dutch Foundation for effective use of medication. While most studies about performance measurements focus on the management of public service organizations, this case study - informed by the literature from Science and Technology Studies – focuses on the active role of the measurements themselves. Indicators, we show, do not have to be as complex as the practices they represent, as long as they are part of a chain of intermediary data that allow traveling from the general or simple indicators to detailed data in day-to-day practices and vice versa. Furthermore, general indicators enable stakeholders to take distance from each other. Rather than the involvement of stakeholders, it is this reflexive distancing that explains the degree of compliance to performance measurement and thereby the prospect for effective co-governance.

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Keywords performance measurement, pharmaceutical care, science and technology studies
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Journal Public Administration
de Bont, A.A, & Grit, K.J. (2010). Unexpected Advantages Of Less Accurate Performance Measurements. Public Administration. Retrieved from