Public Value Management (PVM)

Public Value Management (PVM) has emerged from a critique of New Public Management (NPM) (Stoker, 2003). It shares with more traditional approaches the idea that the public sector differs from the private. It rejects NPM’s assumption that democratic governance resembles consumer choice in the market, and is sceptical of insights drawn directly from the private sector (Moore, 1995). Three main categories of values can be observed:

  • Legal values comprise the belief in legislation as the guiding principle in governance structure. The rule of law is an important legal value. Governance structures must behave in accordance with the laws that have been democratically agreed. Similarly, citizens should be protected from abuse by (administrative) courts (Considine & Lewis, 1999; 2003).
  • Economic values include a variety of values, such as effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility and customer orientation. Governance structures attempt to maximise output while minimising inputs. These economic values can be compared with the business values of private sector companies (Pollitt & Bouckaert, 2004).
  • Democratic values include transparency, accountability, openness and social equity. Subsequently, a governance structure should not be a closed organisation but must be open to citizens criticism and respond to their wishes or needs. Citizens must be able to influence or participate in decision-making processes during the course of policymaking. The state should treat all citizens in an equal manner with respect to not only legal equity but also real equity in everyday life (Thompson et al., 1991).



Considine, M. & Lewis, J., 1999. Governance at ground level: the frontline bureaucrat in the age of markets and networks. Public Administration Review, 59(6), pp.467-81.

Considine, M. & Lewis, J., 2003. Bureaucracy, network or enterprise? Comparing models of governance in Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Public Administration Review, 63(2), pp.131-40.

Stoker, G., 2003. Public Value Management (PVM): A new resolution of the democracy/efficiency tradeoff. Manchester: Institute for Political and Economic Governance (IPEG),University of Manchester.

Thompson, G., Frances, J., Levacic, R. & Mitchell, K., 1991. Markets, hierarchies and network. The coordination of social life. London: Sage Publications.

Pollitt, C. & Bouckaert, G., 2004. Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Moore, M., 1995. Creating Public Value: Strategic management in government. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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