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How Do We Measure Public Value? From Theory to Practice

Public Value Management, Measurement and Reporting

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

ISSN: 2051-6630

Publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

To fill the gap in the literature with regard to public value measurement (PVM) and to provide a model for measuring public value at an individual organizational level, based on managerial control systems (MCS).

Design/methodology/approach

This article helps review the literature on PVM and propose a model for measuring the value generated by individual organizations. Measurement challenges and potential solutions are investigated.

Findings

Public value generated by an individual organization can be calculated by measuring if and to what extent the organization’s outcomes and objectives have been achieved. Public value production and measurement are part of a wider PVM process, which is congruent with the major elements of MCS, from planning to operations, and measurement to evaluation.

Research limitations/implications

This article provides knowledge to support the measurement of public value produced by public sector organizations. However, the suggested use of MCS for a comprehensive measure of the public value produced by a public body does not allow for a comparison of the public values generated by different organizations, as the value is calculated against the objectives set by that specific organization. More research is needed in order to fully utilize this model in practice.

Practical implications

The findings may help public sector organizations, policymakers and public managers measure the public value produced by a public organization as a whole.

Social implications

This article may help citizens and other stakeholders understand the public value produced by a public organization.

Originality/value

This article is based on an original research undertaken by the author and faces the relatively neglected issue of PVM. It suggests the use of public value MCS as a model for measuring public value produced by individual organizations.

Keywords

Citation

Spano, A. (2014), "How Do We Measure Public Value? From Theory to Practice", Public Value Management, Measurement and Reporting (Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance, Vol. 3), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 353-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-663020140000003015

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited