Public Value: Conjecture And Refutation, Theory And Ethics

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2010, 24 (1)
Issue Date:
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This paper explores the theory of Public Value and the debate it has created in public management theory and practice. Public Value was first articulated by Mark Moore (1995). Scholars of public administration have argued, on the one hand, that Public Value can ‘solve the puzzle’ of ‘balancing democracy and efficiency’ in democracies (Stoker, 2006a; Wallis and Gregory, 2009) and on the other, that it constitutes a dangerous return to the justification for public managers as ‘Platonic guardians’ of political systems (Rhodes and Wanna, 2007). We argue that this debate neglects that Moore provides an ethical foundation for public managers to exercise autonomy in decision-making; thereby giving them a renewed legitimacy, importance and confidence when managing for unknowable futures.
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