New development: Expanding public service value to include dis/value

Cluley, Victoria; Parker, Steven and Radnor, Zoe (2021). New development: Expanding public service value to include dis/value. Public Money & Management, 41(8) pp. 656–659.



This article introduces two new terms to the public value lexicon: ‘public service ethos’ and ‘dis/value’. Both terms serve to progress the conceptualization of public value. ‘Public service ethos’ is used to refer to the prevailing assumption that the inclusion of service user voices in the delivery and improvement of public services creates individual and societal benefits (public value). ‘Dis/value’ refers to the public value relationships that fall outside of the public service ethos. Three service assemblages are used to exemplify this. These examples show that a theory–practice disjuncture is present, whereby the ‘public service ethos’ is not practicable based on its anthropomorphic focus and the consequent failure to recognize complexity. To overcome this, the authors draw on new materialist theory to reposition public value as a relational assemblage that can accommodate value in all combinations.

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