Archive for September, 2015

The End of Mark Moore’s Public Value?

Reading previous posts on this blog, it will be obvious that a great deal of time has been spent responding the concept of “Public Value”, developed by Moore (1995) and subsequently in different directions, both within Moore’s work e.g. Benington and Moore 2011 and Moore 2013 and by others including Meynhardt and Bozeman, reflecting an interest in the term in Germany and Europe. In the UK, from its high point in the mid 2000’s e.g. its use by the BBC in 2004 and the setting up of the Institute for Public Service Value by Accenture in 2006, the concept has been seen less regularly in public discourse where it was not used by the political parties in the recent General Election in the UK, for example. This disappearance from public discourse seems to follow the sidelining of the discussions, initiated by Moore, which focused on the purpose and values of public services and the pivotal role of senior staff in those services in defining those purposes. (more…)

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“Notwithstanding the increasing global interconnectivity of human existence, life is lived – culturally, politically and socially – at precise points of interconnection. Globalisation is experienced not as an airy abstraction, but as a located reality.” Nixon J “Foreward”  in (Gornall et al 2014 pxiii).

The book from which this quote was taken looked at the experience of work in Welsh further and higher education in the period 2000 – 2010 and noted that while much attention is given to the “visible aspects of academic performance – teaching hours, exam scripts marked, candidates credentialised, funds secured, research as published units – surprisingly little attention is given to the manner and methods by which academics actually do their work.” (Gornall et al 2014 p1) (continue reading tag here?)

What Gornall and her collaborators identified was that much working practice in colleges and universities descried by them as “how I work” (ibid p1) has been hidden because it was seen as unimportant. In our terms the how I work is defined by a constrained set of performance outcomes/performance indicators which mean that the individual teacher’s work (although we would prefer to use the term “practitioner” to capture the wider sense of what individuals do both inside and outside of classrooms, workshops and lecture theatres) in terms of their activity and the duration of that work has been unobserved as much of this activity is carried out in private both at work and at home. “From what I can see a lot of work appears to be carried out, and very methodically, especially … in the mornings and in the evening. These are before and after the main ‘office’ (campus) day.” Partner of a practitioner (ibid p2)


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