Balancing values and economic efficiency in the public sector!

John Storm Pedersen (Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark)
Jacob Dahl Rendtorff (Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Publication date: 5 October 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The paper discusses the balance between values and economic efficiency in the public sector in comparison with the private sector. The argument is that the public sector, hence the public welfare service institutions, can learn much from the private service sector, hence the private service firms with regard to the relation to values, ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and efficiency in order to improve the balance between values and efficiency in the public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the concept of balance in relation to the development of the management of private service companies as a useful alternative to new public management (NPM). It discusses this with regard to three issues: the evolution of the management of private companies; what can the public sector, hence the public welfare institutions, learn from the evolution of management of private companies? How would it be possible for governments to work for an alternative to NPM, on the basis of the experiences of management of private companies, improving the balance between values and economic efficiency in the public sector?

Findings

It is argued that a deadlock in the development of efficiency management in the public sector, hence in the public welfare service institutions, is created. It is argued, furthermore, that this deadlock to a great extent, paradoxically, is created because of the focusing on NPM for almost two decades as the most important tool to develop efficiency management in the public sector. Finally, it is argued that the experiences in private companies regarding how to find a proper balance between values, ethics, CSR and economic efficiency can be very helpful in developing a strategy within the public sector to unlock the deadlock regarding the development of efficiency management. That is why the experiences of management of the private services companies can become a constructive alternative to the experiences of NPM in the public sector at the level of welfare institutions.

Research limitations/implications

There would be potential for more research on CSR, business ethics and values‐driven management in relation to the public sector.

Originality/value

The paper offers new insight into the relation between values, CSR and management models in the private and in the public sector.

Keywords

Citation

Storm Pedersen, J. and Dahl Rendtorff, J. (2010), "Balancing values and economic efficiency in the public sector!", Society and Business Review, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 293-302. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465681011079518

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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