Public Values Frames in Administration and Governance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


This article builds on theory and research to develop and explore four frames for understanding public values in administration and governance. The article first clarifies and distinguishes among several terms, including value, values, public value, and public values, and discusses the notions of creating public value, preventing public values failure, and public values plurality. Next, it presents four frames of public values for administration and governance: political, legal, organizational, and market. Each frame includes a profile of several distinct content values, as well as a prevailing mode of rationality and a set of dominant methods, which together ensure its continuity and consistency. In addition, the article discusses several itinerant public values that are foundational to the study and practice of public administration, but subject to different interpretations based on the frame from which they are viewed. Finally, the article concludes with suggestions for future research and a discussion of practical implications, particularly in terms of creating public value and preventing public values failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
JournalPerspectives on Public Management and Governance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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