New development: Covid-19 and its publics—implications for strategic management and democracy

Sancino, Alessandro; Garavaglia, Christian; Sicilia, Mariafrancesca and Braga, Alessandro (2020). New development: Covid-19 and its publics—implications for strategic management and democracy. Public Money & Management (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2020.1815380

Abstract

This article discusses the concept of ‘publics’ and provides a case example related to Covid-19 to show the importance of strategically managing with and for publics. Specifically, the publics of local governance in lockdown are identified from two focus groups with local leaders conducted in Lombardy, Italy. Identifying, designing and visualizing publics is a key democratic and strategic choice with implications on the public values enacted.

Impact
Early results have shown that some individuals and organizations were affected disproportionately by the impacts of Covid-19, both for the better (for example higher profits for technology companies) and for the worse (for example higher mortality rates in BAME populations). By managing with and for publics, public managers and politicians could take more equitable decisions by visualizing trade-offs in public values and co-create better strategies by taking the perspective of those experiencing the effects of public decisions and public services.

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