In Search of Public Value: Leadership as Hybrid Practices

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This paper takes it point of departure in the vision of educating public leaders and managers with the ability to create public value in networked governance structure. The purpose of the paper it to revise this vision by unpacking the notion of public value in contemporary governance and discuss the implications for the public leadership and public leadership programs. Drawing on insights from sociology of law and governmentality a set of key tensions inherent in public value discourse are identified as the diagnostic impetus to consider the somewhat excessive leadership figure put forward in the literature. The paper shows that the notion of public value is rather contested and that it imply a certain kind of hybridization of public administration into opposing identity spheres. Instead of forming af 'whole system' as suggested in the literature, the hybridization implicate an ongoing suspension that allows the governance structure to become tense and unresolved. The author suggest that public leadership should be considered as a hybrid practice formed around an ongoing search of of 'publics' and 'images of wholeness' by way of oscillating between varying values and identities. This again calls for new compelling learning formats in public leadership programs. To respond and intervene productively in such a complex governance structure raises pedagogical challenges of how to facilitate and supervise students hybrid practices. Critical reflexivity, engaged and explorative learning need to be a pivotal points in leadership programs, it is argued.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 20th Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2016 - City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 13 Apr 201615 Apr 2016
Conference number: 20


ConferenceThe 20th Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2016
LocationCity University of Hong Kong
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address

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