Creating Public Value

Strategic management in government

Mark H. Moore | 1995

Public Value is a theory for public management advanced by Professor Mark Moore of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Over the previous two decades, staff and students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where Moore taught, engaged in conversations about producing excellence in public management.

“Public value refers to the value created by the government through laws, regulations, services and any other action. In a democratic society, this value is defined by the public themselves. Value is determined by citizens preferences expressed in a variety of ways and thus it provides a rough yard stick against which to gauge the public institutions and government policies.”

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 practising public executives and those who teach them, this book explicates some of the richest of several hundred cases used at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and illuminates their broader lessons for government managers.

Moore addresses four questions that have long bedevilled 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?

Moore’s answers respond to the well-understood difficulties of managing public enterprises in modern society by recommending specific, concrete changes in the practices of individual public managers: how they envision what is valuable to produce, how they engage their political overseers, and how they deliver services and fulfil obligations to clients.

Following Moore’s cases, we witness dilemmas faced by a cross-section of public managers from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Youth Services, the Park Plaza Redevelopment Project, the swine flu scare, the Houston Police Department, and the Boston Housing Authority. Their work and Moore’s analysis reveal how public managers can achieve their true goal of producing public value.


Moore, M. (1995) Creating Public Value: Strategic management in government. Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: Harvard University Press.

Read Chapter 3 (source Harvard University Education)

Moore Mark. Organizational Strategy in the Public Sector In Creating Public Value Strat... 57102


This publication is part of Ecosystem City: Lessons from the Forest