Diversity and Performance Culture

Published 16/12/2009
Type Article
Author(s) Sue Hall, Professor Brid Featherstone
Corresponding Authors Sue Hall, Chief Officer, West Yorkshire Probation Service and Professor Brid Featherstone, University of Bradford.

The following accounts represent different personal views of the implications of performance culture in professional settings. The first, offered by a probation professional concerned with the implications for practice, is broadly positive about performance targets as a way of measuring, and therefore improving, service provision of diverse clients. The second account draws on research experience with one group of clients to indicate a more negative view of targeting. Both authors agree, however, that targeting is with us, and both in different ways argue for qualitative rather than quantitative measures.

A Practitioner Account – Diversity and Performance in Probation

This article represents a written version of one of two key note speeches delivered at the University of Bradford on June 6th 2008. The address, a personal view, was given in my capacity as Chief Probation Officer of the West Yorkshire Area of the National Probation Service. The focus of my paper was on the growth and implications of the performance culture on the work of the Probation Service.

Diversity and Performance – A Research View

This article represents written extracts from the second keynote speech given at the ‘Diversity in a Performance Culture Conference’ at the University of Bradford on June 6th 2008. The address, a personal view, was given in my capacity as Professor of Social Work at Bradford University. The focus of my talk was on the growth and implications of the performance culture identified within my personal experience and research, which, broadly speaking
focused on social work. However, the points I make could equally be applied to the probation service and other agencies with responsibility for providing services across the public sector .