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Public (dis)Value: A Case Study

Public Value Management, Measurement and Reporting

ISBN: 978-1-78441-011-7, eISBN: 978-1-78441-010-0

Publication date: 11 November 2014



This article has two main aims. First, to observe the different causes of public (dis)value. Second, to explore, through a case study, an example of public value regeneration through the social reuse of assets seized from criminal organizations.


This is a theoretical article with a case study, utilizing semi-structured interviews.


The study analyzes the factors resulting from the regeneration of new public value within an initially compromised context. This is achieved by ‘freeing’ and converting properties seized from the Mafia in public goods available to the community (Plus-Value). The article finds that the different causes of public (dis)value are Mafia infiltration in public goods, corruption, tax evasion, abstaining from voting, (ab)use of power and (ab)use of law.

Practical implications

The study may help both scholars and practitioners to identify strategies to offset (dis)value factors, something that would be easy to imagine as having managerial implications.

Social implications

The value regenerated with respect to properties confiscated from the Mafia and then converted to social activities for the community highlights how it is possible to transform public (dis)value to public value.


The article explores a little examined area of public value, that is the destruction of value or (dis)value.



Esposito, P. and Ricci, P. (2014), "Public (dis)Value: A Case Study", Public Value Management, Measurement and Reporting (Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance, Vol. 3), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 291-300.



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