A key challenge for contemporary Italian public administration is to make the Italian public sector more customer-oriented. This is strictly necessary to struggle in a dynamic marketplace. The link between administrative performance measurements and citizen satisfaction, is the starting point to develop a different management frame and deliver new services. This article intends to show two goals: - establishing a theoretical and empirical grounded criticism of the current state of research on citizen satisfaction; - proposing a conceptual model of the relevant factors affecting the relationship between administrative performance measurements and citizen expectations and perceptions. This cross–sectional analysis of citizen satisfaction and performance results is useful for managers in conjunction with performance–measurement programs as part of a multiple–indicator approach to evaluate municipal service quality. However, understanding citizen expectations and perceptions requires a different perspective than the one applied to administrative service performance measurement. Overall, the results suggest that efforts to increase citizen satisfaction based on public participation may have added benefits for management efforts.
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