Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Nichole M. Fifer


This is a case study of performance-based and budgeting reforms in National Park Service (NPS). The study examines the effects of reform initiatives on the agency’s administration, budgeting, and management. Previous research suggests that current reform initiatives are more effective than those of the past. Further research on reforms suggests reform impacts, while small or non-existent at the agency level may be significant at the sub-agency level. The main reform studied here is performance based budgeting (PBB), under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). Its purpose is to improve policy implementation at the “street level.” If working as intended, as sub-agency units show success, they should attract additional budget. Although it is difficult to generalize from a case study, it’s an appropriate design for this research because of the NPS is an important case for testing the theory relevant to performance management, at both agency and sub-agency The study finds that performance management has had dramatic effects on agency operations, but don’t directly affect budgets. Additionally the study suggests that adjustment to performance management has had negative impacts on NPS managers' capabilities due to uncertainty about the use of performance tools.