Public value

Abstract from a 2015 Policy Studies Journal article –

Creating Public Value: Tightening Connections Between Policy Design and Public Management
Michael Mintrom and Joannah Luetjens

Policy design and public management should be tightly connected, so implemented public policies achieve intended outcomes. Yet policy designers often pursue their activities with limited awareness of how citizens and service managers experience current public programs. A focus on creating public value offers a way to tighten the connection between policy design and public management. Recent discussions of public value have emphasized three aspects of public management: delivering services, achieving social outcomes, and maintaining trust and legitimacy. Within those discussions, the efforts of policy designers have been underplayed. We explore the implications of the public value approach for policy design. Pursuit of public value calls for policy designers to listen closely to stakeholders, engage them in creative conversations, and draw on their situated expertise to guide policy development. We consider how explicit treatment of public value creation as a policy goal can improve the fit between original policy intentions and the delivery of public services. Our augmented model of public value creation offers both a new direction for empirical studies of the nexus between public policy and public management and a new perspective on what it means to be an effective policy designer.

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