Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government

Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government

Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government

Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government


A seminal figure in the field of public management, Mark Moore presents his summation of fifteen years of research, observation, and teaching about what public sector executives should do to improve the performance of public enterprises. Useful for both practicing public executives and those who teach them, this book explicates some of the richest of several hundred cases used at Harvard's Kennedy School and illuminates their broader lessons for government managers. Moore addresses four questions that have long bedeviled public administration: What should citizens and their representatives expect and demand from public executives? What sources can public managers consult to learn what is valuable for them to produce? How should public managers cope with inconsistent and fickle political mandates? How can public managers find room to innovate?


My colleague Graham Allison once explained why books need introductions. "Well, you wrote the book by throwing clumps of mud against a barn wall. The introduction draws a red circle around the clumps to show you hit the target!" So, that's the point of this introduction: to describe the target I was trying to hit. I also describe the materials I used to construct the argument and the tests one could use to decide whether I have really hit the target.


The aim of this book is quite specific: to lay out a structure of practical reasoning to guide managers of public enterprises. It presents a general answer to the question of what public managers should think and do to exploit the particular circumstances they find themselves in to create public value.

To achieve this purpose, the book develops several different kinds of ideas. First, it sets out a philosophy of public management--an idea of what we citizens should expect of public managers, the ethical responsibilities they assume in taking office, and what constitutes virtue in the execution of their offices. Second, it sets out diagnostic frameworks to guide managers in analyzing the settings in which they operate and gauging the potential for effective action. Third, it identifies particular kinds of interventions managers can make to exploit the potential of their political and organizational settings for creating public value.

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