Performance measurement versus city service satisfaction: Intra-city variations in quality?

David Swindell, Janet Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective. This article illustrates the usefulness of citizen satisfaction surveys to account for variation in citizen satisfaction with public-service quality within a city's boundaries. Methods. The article examines data from 17 local governments and divided into 141 spatial areas to investigate the distribution of satisfaction within cities (as an outcome measure) and the effect of SES variables on variation in satisfaction with jointly consumed services. Results. Satisfaction varies within cities, not all of which is attributable to SES characteristics. This suggests substantive variation in service quality. Conclusions. Local governments interested in developing meaningful performance measures of service outcomes should incorporate properly designed citizen satisfaction surveys implemented at the service-district level. In addition, performance indicators of service inputs and outputs should be disaggregated to the service-district level and matched to citizen satisfaction results in order to allocate and tailor resource policy decisions in a more informed manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-723
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Performance measurement versus city service satisfaction: Intra-city variations in quality?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this