Funding bodies

Capita Group PLC, English Heritage, London Borough of Lewisham, Metropolitan Police, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Ofcom, the Quality Improvement Agency, the Scottish Government and the Royal Opera House.



The Public Value Project sought alternative accounts of value to underpin public service reform and ran from 2006-09. Building on existing academic and policy work around ‘public value’, the project aimed to help policymakers, public managers and institutions understand the concept of public value and to see how it could be applied to underpin public service reform.

Public value addresses many of the contemporary concerns facing public managers. These include problems of securing legitimacy for decision-making, resource allocation and measuring service outcomes. This research project drew together contemporary debates around public value, clarified its elements and sought to further understanding of this topical and important conceptual innovation in public service delivery.

The project’s objectives were to:

  • provide a clear definition of public value
  • provide public managers with a set of guiding principles that orient institutions to the creation of public value
  • use sector and case studies to illustrate how organisations might understand where gaps occur in achieving public value
  • clarify the components and processes of public value in order to facilitate its future capture and measurement


Accounting for Intangibles: Financial Reporting and Value Creation in the Knowledge Economy, Blaug, R, Lekhi, R (2009), London: The Work Foundation.

Deliberative Democracy and the Role of Public Managers: Final report of The Work Foundation’s Public Value Consortium, London: The Work Foundation. Blaug, R, Horner, L, Lekhi, R (2006), (Cited in the Government White Paper, A Public Service for All: the BBC in the Digital Age).

Public Value, Politics and Public Management, Blaug, R, Horner, L, Lekhi, R (2006), London: The Work Foundation.