The Centre for Business Performance at Cranfield School of Management is a world leading research organisation for the study of performance measurement and management. Building on the success of roundtables for private businesses, the Public Sector Performance Roundtable was formed in 2003 to focus on the special issues arising from the government’s emphasis on performance in public services.

About the Public Sector Roundtable

Our roundtable enables groups of executives, directors and managers from public sector organisations to meet together regularly in order to discuss and research current issues and trends that may influence the way they run their organisations. Through the roundtable, members have the opportunity to:

  • Share experiences and ideas around performance measurement and management
  • Learn about current research programmes and findings in the academic world
  • Explore and develop approaches to the real challenges they face within their organisations and workplaces.

The Public Sector Performance Roundtable has grown quickly since its formation and currently has members from local authorities, healthcare trusts, central government departments, fire and rescue services and police forces. The group meets for one day, four times per year to participate in lively agendas of presentations, discussion and debate.

Benefits of Membership

  • Learn: Meetings present best practice experience from public and private sector organisations coupled with the latest research findings.
  • Network: You will meet performance measurement and management practitioners from other organisations and have the opportunity to share experiences and learning.
  • Improve performance: The roundtable provides a unique blend of breadth of experience and depth of understanding. Together these mean generation of fresh ideas for tackling both new and existing problems and reassurance from others who have made progress in circumstances similar to your own.
  • Access: Not only do members form part of a community of performance management practitioners, but you will enjoy special access to current research work and the opportunity to influence the developing research agenda in this vital area.

Roundtable Topics

At meetings you will have the opportunity to learn more about performance management, by engaging in discussions and networking with top academics and practitioners in the field. Examples of topics examined at recent meetings include:

  • Creating a culture of performance in the public services
  • Case studies of development of performance measurement systems in public sector organisations
  • Sustaining and spreading change in the public services
  • Managing relations in public-private partnerships
  • Evaluation of the local government modernisation agenda
  • Applications of process improvement and predictive performance
  • Applying private sector performance management techniques to the public sector
  • Linking stakeholders, corporate responsibility and performance.

Our Research

The unique feature of our roundtable is that it is research based. Meetings and discussions are structured around a research agenda, which is developed by the roundtable members, together with the team at the Centre for Business Performance. Our current research interests in the public sector include:

  • Setting appropriate performance targets and indicators 
  • Interactions between institutions and local organisations in the development of performance measurement systems 
  • Fostering a performance culture within public sector organisations 
  • The use of performance information to support decision-making processes 
  • Effective human resources management - rewards, incentives and performance-related pay.

Significant insights from these research projects have already provided both member organisations and policy makers with feedback regarding the way in which the management of performance in the public sector can be improved.

Meetings and Membership

Membership of the Public Sector Performance Roundtable entitles two individuals from the member organisation to attend each  of the quarterly meetings. You also have the opportunity to attend any of the Centre for Business Performance’s one day courses.

You will also gain access to the membership area of the website which hosts all the past presentations, links to the latest publications, and other content related to performance measurement.

Finally, your organisation could benefit from research projects undertaken at a reduced rate.


This club operates a 'no consultants' policy - you must work in the public sector to be eligible for membership.

How to Join

Subject to member agreement, you can join the Public Sector Performance Roundtable at any time. Twelve months membership costs £3000 +VAT and entitles you to all member benefits. Prior to joining you can come to one of our quarterly meetings as a guest. To join, you will need to sign a membership contract, which can be obtained from Michell Steele (Michell.Steele@cranfield.ac.uk) or call us for more information on +44 (0)1234 751122.

The Public Sector Performance Roundtable is co-ordinated by Professor Mike Bourne (m.bourne@cranfield.ac.uk) with the support of Michell Steele (Michell.Steele@cranfield.ac.uk).