Public Value Management, Measurement and Reporting: Volume 3

Table of contents

(22 chapters)
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Purpose

This article focuses on the role of accounting performance measurement in the creation of public value in the context of the network associated with the justice portfolio within the Australian Commonwealth.

Design/methodology/approach

We use concepts of bonding and bridging social capital to theorize the use of performance measurement in government networks.

Findings

We find that there is relatively little use of performance measures that reported network level performance and the primary emphasis was on building social capital with funders rather than across network partner agencies. We therefore conclude that existing Australian public sector performance measurement practices are not supportive of intra-governmental networks and therefore the notion that improvement in performance measurement will deliver public value needs further reflection.

Research limitations/implications

The research scope is restricted to governmental network performance measures from a justice portfolio budget perspective. Despite the focused attention of the research, the application of the findings has relevance across all government portfolios and broader public management more generally.

Practical implications

Despite calls for accountability and governance innovation where public value is delivered across organizational boundaries through dependency and collaboration, the case environment offers little evidence that forms of performance measurement over the period examined recognize this practicality. The research primarily adds considerable weight to the argument that the delivery of public value by networks requires an evolution in accountability and performance reporting away from traditional institutional forms of performance representation.

Originality/value

The research is highly novel in its unveiling and examination of contemporary performance measurement reporting from a network perspective.

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Purpose

The article considers the challenges involved in measuring the performance of local public service networks through an empirical analysis of Comprehensive Area Assessments (CAAs), a short-lived but pioneering attempt to gauge the effectiveness of local governments, health trusts, police and fire services in England.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data about the implementation and impact of CAAs were gathered using a mixed method approach, including surveys of local public services, inspectorates and residents together with focus groups and semi-structured interviews in 12 case study areas.

Findings

CAAs encouraged agencies to strive to achieve better partnership working but did not provide sufficiently robust comparative data to enable managers to benchmark their performance against other areas or identify good practice elsewhere. Policy makers hoped that citizens would use CAAs to hold services to account but the process failed to attract media or public interest.

Implications

The logic of a more ‘joined-up’ approach to performance assessment of local partnerships is compelling. But in practice it is difficult to achieve because institutional arrangements at a national level mean that different sectors work within very different budget systems, professional networks and performance frameworks. Assessing the outcomes achieved by local partnerships also presents new challenges for inspection agencies and requires them to use new kinds of evidence.

Originality/value

This is the only attempt to date to evaluate CAAs and adds to an understanding of the challenges of assessing the performance of local public service partnerships. It highlights new questions for researchers and policy makers about the types of evidence needed to measure partnership performance and the extent to which the public may use the results.

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Purpose

This article presents a hands-on example of how the Sydney Conservatorium of Music developed a new strategy to create public value in the lead up to its centenary celebrations in 2015.

Design/methodology/approach

Traditional research methods, such as semi-structured interviews (Qu & Dumay, 2011), alongside a strategic workshop incorporating a group discussion method called ‘The future, backwards’ are utilized to canvass the knowledge and divergent diverse views of employees, who would be impacted by the strategy, and to identify both the congruence and divergence of their views in order to help shape the value the strategic plan creates. The theoretical underpinning of the process is based on narrative (Weick & Browning, 1986) and the micro-sociological theory (Westley, 1990).

Findings

The process used here offers an insight into how strategic management can be developed in a public sector organization to help visualize its public value.

Implications

The process fills a gap in the academic literature and provides information for strategic practice by developing insights into how strategic management can be successfully employed in a public sector organization.

Originality/value

The process provides an example of a public sector based ‘value chain’ demonstrating how a public sector organization developed and articulated a public value creating strategy.

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Purpose

The study contributes to the literature on public value and performance examining politicians’ and managers’ perspectives by investigating the importance they attach to the different facets of performance information (i.e. budgetary, accrual based- and non-financial information (NFI)).

Design/methodology/approach

We survey politicians and managers in all Italian municipalities of at least 80,000 inhabitants.

Findings

Overall, NFI is more appreciated than financial information (FI). Moreover, budgetary accounting is preferred to accrual accounting. Politicians’ and managers’ preferences are generally aligned.

Research limitations/implications

NFI as a measure of public value is not alternative, but rather complementary, to FI. The latter remains a fundamental element of public sector accounting due to its role in resource allocation and control.

Practical implications

The preference for NFI over FI and of budgetary over accruals accounting suggests that the current predominant emphasis on (accrual-based) financial reporting might be misplaced.

Originality/value

Public value and performance are multi-faceted concepts. They can be captured by different types of information and evaluated according to different criteria, which will also depend on the category of stakeholders or users who assesses public performance. So far, most literature has considered the financial and non-financial facets of performance as virtually separate. Similarly, in the practice, financial management tends to be decoupled from non-financial performance management. However, this research shows that only by considering their joint interactions we can achieve an accurate representation of what public value really is.

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Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate the nature of public value in the context of Swedish public museum management and how it is created.

Design/methodology/approach

The museum context is introduced, and assumptions and principles underpinning new public management (NPM) and public value management, along with examples of applicability and implementation in museums, are presented. Three key issues of convergence and divergence within the theoretical framework – strategic orientation, accountability and performance – are identified and introduced as a gateway to the empirical findings and the ensuing discussion.

Findings

NPM-oriented values have become part of the strategic orientation of the museum sector. The results of this study show that there exist at least three conceptions of museum management that are based on two different strategic orientations, that is, accessibility and conservation, which also point to different conceptions of value.

Social implications

Museum management can be seen as the management of tensions between conservation and accessibility and between customer orientation and stakeholder orientation towards the creation of museum value.

Originality/value

The findings will assist museum management determine not only what value is but also for whom it is valuable, taking into account both present and future generations.

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Purpose

This article aims to analyze the role of performance management systems (PMS) in supporting public value strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

This article draws on the public value dynamic model by Horner and Hutton (2010). It presents the results of a case study of implementation of a PMS model, the ‘Value Pyramid’ (VP).

Findings

The results stress the need for an improved conceptualization of PMS within public value strategy. Through experimentation using the VP, the case site was able to measure and visualize what it considered public value and reflect on the internal/external causes of both creation and destruction of public value.

Research limitations/implication

This article is limited to just one case study, although in-depth and longitudinal.

Originality/value

This article is one of the first attempting to understand the role of PMS within the public value strategy framework, answering the call of Benington and Moore (2010) to consider public value from an accounting perspective.

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Purpose

The creation of public value is a topical debate for Dutch civil society organizations. Over the years, moving from government to governance, they supposedly have gained responsibility and space in meeting public needs. However, meeting the priority public needs and demonstrating actual public value creation has proved difficult. This has led to many discussions on how and if these organizations are creating public value. This study therefore investigated three practical cases to explore and explain how managers of housing associations create public value.

Method

A case study method was employed.

Findings

Based on the different cases we can conclude that despite high ambitions, deviating normative views and the will to change displayed by the managers in the cases we investigated, we did not encounter situations where managers actually managed spaces for the creation of public value. The involved managers are still led by formal agendas and policies, rather than engaging in dialogues with their relevant stakeholders. They remain segmented in their approach and offering of services. Managers’ environment and stakeholders are not yet naturally seen as a place for sharing information and reframing boundaries for creating public value.

Originality/value

The opportunity in the investigated cases and for these managers lies in mobilizing and utilizing network relationships. This article provides a public value praxis model that focuses on involving stakeholders in investigating priority needs, collectively (re)designing services that meet these.

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Purpose

To understand whether the public value approach will improve the performance and legitimacy of Italian universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The public value approach is used to identify the factors limiting the improvement of the performance of Italian universities over the period 2007–2009. Four cases are analyzed in order to reveal how universities measure and communicate the public value delivered. The evolution of the whole system is analysed in the light of the three paradigms on public administration: traditional public administration, new public management and public value management.

Findings

Recent reforms introduced by the Italian government do not facilitate the overcoming of political and organizational constraints, with the exception of a few noteworthy elements. The dominant role of the Ministry of Education in the definition of universities’ strategic goals combined with the great autonomy traditionally granted to the departments and to single academics leave little room for manoeuvre.

Social implications

The case of the Italian higher education system highlights the importance of the rules of governance for public value production. The analysis shows that the actual governance of the higher education institutions does not favour the construction of a public value proposition by the universities’ managers. This aspect raises the more general question of identifying the necessary conditions for realizing the public value proposition and determining its presence in all public administrations.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the understanding of mechanisms that hinder the capability of public institutions’ to develop their own public value proposition.

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Purpose

To understand whether new public management and public value theory are sufficient to guide the strategic behaviours adopted by public sector organizations for their service delivery companies.

Design/methodology/approach

This article uses a longitudinal case study of a joint stock company running an airport service in Tuscany.

Findings

Public value theory should be further developed to guide managerial behaviours in a very complex decision-making environment.

Research limitations

Only one case study is used so results cannot be generalized in a proper statistical way.

Practical implications

Public managers could learn the usefulness of managerial theories for their decision-making.

Social implications

Theories aimed at providing managers with insights into decisions made in complex situations should be tested in the real world before being accepted or refused.

Originality/value

This article analyzes a case study operating under and applying the concepts proposed by new public management and public value theory. It therefore offers insights on their applicability, shortcomings and usefulness for decision-making.

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Purpose

This qualitative interview study compares public value prioritizations of ministers, members of parliament and senior public managers in the Netherlands. This article aims to answer the following central research question: how do Dutch political elites and administrative elites differ in their interpretation and prioritization of public values?

Design/methodology/approach

Based on coding and categorization of 65 interviews this article shows how government elites in advanced western democracies interpret and assess four crucial public values: responsiveness, expertise, lawfulness and transparency.

Findings

Political elites and administrative elites in the Netherlands are more similar than different in their prioritization and perceptions of public values. Differences are strongly related to role conceptions and institutional responsibilities, which are more traditional than most recent literature on politico-administrative dynamics would suggest.

Research limitations/implications

Our qualitative findings are hard to generalize to larger populations of politicians and public managers in the Netherlands, let alone beyond the Netherlands. However, the testable research hypotheses we derive from our explorative study merit future testing among larger populations of respondents in different countries through survey research.

Practical implications

Experienced values differences between both groups are smaller than their mutual perceptions would suggest.

Originality/value

Most research on public values is quantitative in nature and focuses exclusively on public managers. By adding the politician to the equation we improve our understanding of how public values are enacted in real life and set the tone for a more inclusive research agenda on public values.

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Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore the concept of co-governance and its implications on public value, with particular reference to local authorities in the Italian context.

Design/methodology/approach

The research aim is pursued by means of a literature review and an empirical research. The empirical research is developed through a questionnaire, sent to the 119 municipalities of the Italian provincial capitals. The overall response rate was 41.18% (49 responses).

Findings

In Italian local authorities the process of increasing citizens’ participation and citizens’ involvement as co-producers of public value by means of co-governance and participatory governance tools is still ongoing. More than 50% of the local authorities of the research sample have introduced co-governance or participatory governance tools and activities but they are still facing problems in implementing them.

In general, the level of citizens’ participation seems not to be fully developed.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical part of the research focuses only on the application of co-governance and participatory governance tools in the Italian context, therefore the main limitation lies in the difficulties of extending their application to the international context. In addition, the questionnaire was designed only for medium- to large-sized local authorities. Thus, the research does not consider the possible implications for small municipalities.

Practical implications

This article considers some of the possible difficulties of implementation of co-governance and participatory governance tools.

Social implications

This article highlights the link between the creation of public value and the adoption of public policies based on citizens’ involvement and consultation.

Originality/value

This article underlines the link between public value creation and co-governance. It also offers a broad empirical survey on the presence of co-governance and participatory governance tools and activities in the Italian context; this topic was not examined in prior studies.

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Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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

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Purpose

In recent years, public management research has been focused at the public value paradigm. However, many discussions on this topic are motivated at least as much by theory as by evidence. We do not yet have a comprehensive empirical understanding of what happens when the public value paradigm is translated into practice within organizations. An important theoretical question is how to match the public value approach and measurement to specific contexts. Understanding barriers to effective implementation and identifying what might be done to overcome obstacles are interesting issues for advancing theory and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

By deploying and testing the same approach and method of measuring public value in two local governments, this article aims to shed light on barriers to implementing the public value paradigm in practice.

Findings

The study’s findings show little evidence to support claims for a paradigmatic shift towards the public value paradigm in the Italian case.

Practical implications

Managerial implications of public value measurement are also taken into consideration.

Originality/value

We know little about what conditions drive individual governments towards the adoption of a public value approach and measurement. Undoubtedly, this issue has huge practical relevance when introducing public value discourses in bureaucratic governmental settings.

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Purpose

This conceptual article aims primarily to illustrate the impact of public value thinking on the process of public sector modernisation. Public value management (PVM) is analysed from two perspectives. First, the principles and features of PVM approaches are detailed, including a comparison of the literature on the other approaches characterizing the modernisation process, that is, traditional public administration (TPA), new public management (NPM) and new public governance (NPG). Then PVM is contrasted with NPM and TPA. Subsequently, the elements connecting PVM with NPG are explored. Second, the theoretical and methodological frameworks within which public value has been operationalized are investigated. One of the core topics is the measurement of public value, which is illustrated focusing on the link between public value (in the singular) and public values (in the plural). The impact that the adoption of public value thinking exerts on the multiple performance objectives for public sector organisations is also investigated. Ultimately, the article aims to highlight the potential of the public value view – considered in conjunction with performance measurement and performance management systems – without neglecting the challenging and problematic aspects of this wave of reform. The comparison with other waves of reform is intended to provide a clearer picture of the way forward for PVM.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical and methodological investigation, elaborating on the relevant literature on the process of public sector modernisation, is carried out.

Findings

The approaches that have emerged during the last two decades (PVM, NPG) are other than alternative solutions. But also less recent waves of change have left, or are expected to leave, their own legacy for public administration over time. This could be the case for NPM, although, according to many scholars, it is in trouble and has lost its driving force, while others see it as simply ‘dead’ and doomed to give way to the ‘digital-era governance’. Several core elements of NPM are no longer in evidence either in PVM or in NPG. Different distinguishing elements have been brought into the foreground. For instance, the idea of the public as citizens characterises PVM and NPG, instead of the public as customers, qualifying NPM. What we are seeing is a progressive expansion of the public’s involvement, through co-production and participation. Contemporary public officials interact with members of the public in ways that involve all of their possible roles: as citizens, customers, partners. There are two salient aspects under which public value thinking can contribute. First, a focus on public value can – better than other approaches – represent a ‘glue’ capable of bringing together debates involving ‘values, institutions, systems, processes, and people’ (Smith, 2004, p. 18). Second, such a focus makes it possible to link insights from different analytical perspectives, fostering a broader view on the determinants of public sector change. This could be of decisive importance for the purpose of reshaping performance measurement and performance management systems, which is a crucial step in public sector reform.

Originality/value

Significant contributions are offered under two aspects. First, in terms of exploration of the concepts of public value (also in relation to public values) and private value. Second, in terms of analysis of the impact that PVM can exert on the logic of performance measurement and performance management.

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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.

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Purpose

This article critically reviews the latest Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and recommended sustainability topics for public agencies, and presents normative argument by using Gray’s (2006) ecological and eco-justice (EEJ) approach to produce public value inscriptions of sustainability to represent sustainable public value.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presents a critical analysis and discussion of the changes to the GRI G4 and sustainability topics for public agencies from a managerialistic and EEJ approach.

Findings

We observe that the GRI continues to evolve while paying scant attention to furthering the Sector Supplement for Public Sector Agencies as it remains in its pilot form since its inception in 2005. Changes to the GRI are somewhat enlightening because several of the changes do begin to address a more comprehensive view of how any organization, including public agencies, can contribute to an EEJ approach to sustainability.

Practical implications

In the future it is important to be aware that, as inscriptions, the GRI guidelines have the potential power to influence how managers in public agencies approach sustainability. As Dumay, Guthrie, and Farneti (2010) previously argued, if guidelines continue to approach sustainability from a ‘managerialistic’ approach then there is little hope of public sector agencies adopting EEJ practices. We argue that organizations should act referring to Gray’s EEJ approach.

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DOI
10.1108/S2051-663020143
Publication date
2014-11-11
Book series
Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-011-7
Book series ISSN
2051-6630