Universities are, and this is even truer in Italy, peculiar public administrations, characterized by common elements to other public administrations (PAs) but also by distinctive features. In universities, professionals are the main producers of core services, while an administration works in support of these core functions. In time evaluation focused on teaching and research activities and thus on the academic component of the university, leaving aside the administrative one. Nevertheless, worldwide has increased the relevance of professional management within universities, due to the key role played by it in determining the university. Moreover, the guidelines issued in Italy in 2015 by the National agency for Evaluation of the University System and Research (ANVUR) highlight that all the universities’ activities are affected by the administrative activity and that there is a need to view university performance in a more holistic manner (integrated performance), in which the general objectives of the universities should be linked to the objectives of the professional management. In this context, the main research aim of the paper is to analyze the contribution offered by university managers to the achievement of the university performance by investigating the actual management control systems within universities to verify the degree of linkages of university managers’ objectives with university’s objectives and whether university managers are provided with incentives when university objectives are achieved. The paper addresses the main research question using a case study methodology applied to the University of Calabria.
Keywords: Universities, integrated performance, performance management, evaluation, university managers.