An introduction to public leadership
An introduction to public leadership

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2.1.1 Explaining the concept of public value

In this section you will watch three short video clips.

The first of these examines the development and use of public value as a concept. It outlines the context in which the public value concept was first developed by US academic Mark Moore.

Moore wanted to find a way of educating senior public sector managers which would allow them to work productively and creatively with the challenges they faced in deciding what their organisations were supposed to deliver, then to turn these insights into operational priorities. In the video, he explains the background to developing his ideas in an interview with Professor Rolf Rønning. As Moore explains, the period of the late 1980s to early 1990s when he developed his ideas was one in which governments around the world sought to reduce state funding of public sector services. His aim was to provide a counter-balance to these pressures by focusing on the economic and social value generated by these services. The parallels with today’s political and economic environment, with a strong policy emphasis on public sector deficit reduction, are evident.

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In the second of this series of video clips exploring public value, John Benington, UK academic and former public manager with many years’ experience, explains how the public value concept is useful in developing policy.

Here Benington looks at the different stakeholder interests engaged in defining the public value in any policy context. He illustrates how he and Moore were able to develop a strongly practitioner-focused conceptual framework for social policy making groups, based around a small number of key questions.

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In this third video clip, Professor Jean Hartley examines why and how the concept of public value is useful, not only for public managers, but also other types of leader operating in the public sphere.

She discusses how the application of public value principles has led to further conceptual refinements and ensured that it is now firmly embedded in the work of public leaders across the UK and internationally.

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