Public value
Public value is the equivalent of shareholder value
Shareholder value
Shareholder value is a business term, sometimes phrased as shareholder value maximization or as the shareholder value model, which implies that the ultimate measure of a company's success is the extent to which it enriches shareholders...

 in public management
Public management
Public management is a term that considers that government and non-profit administration resembles private-sector management in some important ways. As such, there are management tools appropriate in public and in private domains, tools that maximize efficiency and effectiveness...

. Public value can be instituted as an organising principle in a public sector
Public sector
The public sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector, is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal.Examples of public sector activity range...

 organisation, providing a focus in the context of which individual employees are free to pursue and propose new ideas about how to improve the working of the organisation, in terms of efficiency
Efficiency (economics)
In economics, the term economic efficiency refers to the use of resources so as to maximize the production of goods and services. An economic system is said to be more efficient than another if it can provide more goods and services for society without using more resources...

 or services. Public organisations seeking to use public value as a principle need to create a corporate culture in which the pursuit of public value by employees is rewarded just as pursuing shareholder value is rewarded in private corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...



The term and concept were invented by Harvard professor Mark H. Moore, who published a book on the subject, Creating Public Value Strategic Management in Government, in 1995.


The concept has been taken up initially by academics, think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

s and NGO
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s, and later by a number of public sector organisations in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...


In 2004 it was used by the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 as the cornerstone of its manifesto for the renewal of its charter.

In 2006 Accenture
Accenture plc is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company headquartered in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. It is the largest consulting firm in the world and is a Fortune Global 500 company. As of September 2011, the company had more than 236,000 employees across...

 launched the Institute for Public Service Value, to explore how public value is created in government organizations.

In 2006, the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) in partnership with SAP AG
SAP AG is a German software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, with regional offices around the world, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software...

, conducted research on the topic of public value in the context of governments’ investments in Information Technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 (IT). The results of this research found that governments’ ability to realize the full value of IT investments is not completely measurable in terms of financial results. More specifically, the five U.S. and international governments studied, looked for the full value of government IT investments in both the internal value to government operations and the broader political and social returns to the public at large.

From this point of view, there are two sources of public value: 1. Value that results from improving the government itself as an asset to society and 2. value that results from the delivery of specific benefits directly to persons or groups.

In October 2008 UK-based The Work Foundation published "Public Value: The Next Steps in Public Service Reform" .

See also

  • Public services
    Public services
    Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly or by financing private provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income...

     - a term usually used to mean services provided by government
    Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

     to its citizens
  • Public good
    Public good
    In economics, a public good is a good that is non-rival and non-excludable. Non-rivalry means that consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce availability of the good for consumption by others; and non-excludability means that no one can be effectively excluded from using the good...

     - a good whose availability is not reduced (non-rival
    Rivalry (economics)
    In economics, rivalry is a characteristic of a good. A good can be placed along a continuum ranging from rivalrous to non-rival. The same characteristic is sometimes referred to as subtractable or non-subtractable . A rival good is a good whose consumption by one consumer prevents simultaneous...

    ) due to consumption by others, and which no one can be effectively excluded (non-excludable) from using

External links

  • Accenture Institute for Public Service Value
  • Kate Oakley, Richard Naylor and David Lee (2006), Giving them what they want: the construction of the public in 'public value', paper presented at "Media and Social Change" conference organised by the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, September 2006.
  • The Work Foundation, November (2006), Horner, L. Lekhi, R and Blaug, R. (2006) Deliberative Democracy and the role of public managers
  • James Crabtree, New Statesman
    New Statesman
    New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

    , 27 September 2004, "The revolution that started in a library"
  • BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

    , June 2004, Building Public Value - BBC report on renewal of its charter
  • Barry Bozeman (2002), "Public-Value Failure: When Efficient Markets May Not Do", Public Administration Review 62(2), March/April 2002
  • Mark Moore's Harvard profile

DEMOS - The Public Value of Science (2005)
DEMOS - Capturing Cultural Value (2005)
Prime Minister's Strategy Unit (2002) - Creating Public Value
  • The Center for Technology in Government
  • SAP
  • Bibliography on Public Value (English and German Literature)
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