Research and Practice Agenda Right

Of course, the concern with purposes and values is hardly new to public administration; what is different are two different parts of the context. The first is that traditional public administration and the New Public Management—while they both have strengths—are not up to the tasks of networked governance, leadership, and manage ment when a variety of public values should be served, including, but hardly limited to, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity. The second is the view that terms such as the public interest and com monwealth are too narrow, other related terms such as the common good are too vague, and the language of public value provides a helpful way forward, as Jacobs suggests. A Research and Practice Agenda Right now the new approach is enmeshed in often vague defini tions, conceptualizations, and measurements of public value and the public sphere. While public administration scholars and practition ers may ultimately agree on these public value-related matters, they are unlikely to reach full consensus. That is not necessarily a bad thing. In order to make progress, however, scholars should address the challenges to current formulations, in part through further conceptual refinement, the development of suitable typologies and measures, and rigorous empirical testing. Research should attend to both subjectively held public values and more objective states of the world; whether a specific public value is intrinsic, extrinsic, or relational; whether something is a prime or instrumental public value; whether there are hierarchies of public values; who does the valuing; how the valuing is done; and against what criteria the object of value is measured. The public value literature does provide a broader sense of public values than typically found in traditional public administration and New Public Management. As the emerging approach to public administration unfolds, the public value literature should be explic itly incorporated, since the issues it addresses are so fundamental.

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