Value creation and public service delivery

Strokosch, Kirsty and Osborne, Stephen; Lapsley, Irvine and Miller, Peter, eds. (2024) Value creation and public service delivery. In: The Resilience of New Public Management. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198883814 (

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Under the NPM, public service reforms have predominantly emphasised the internal organisational efficacy of public service organisations (PSOs) to achieve efficient service delivery and value for money. Both public management theory and practice have, by consequence, stressed the efficiency in public service production and delivery (Glendinning, 1988; McKevitt and Davis, 2016) while paying less attention to a broader value-set for service users and citizens. The NPM’s economic perspective of value has been further reinforced by a model of closed decision-making, where professionals are viewed as experts and therefore solely responsible for service improvement (Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2017). This chapter will argue that the pre-eminence of the NPM has been at the expense of a deeper understanding of value and the processes through which it is created during public service production. We begin by reframing our understanding of value creation from a service perspective, moving beyond a traditional linear model associated with the NPM, to discuss public service production as a relational process of value creation, which is influenced by various actors, resources and interactions. To support this discussion, we draw on the service management and marketing theory in a bid to further our understanding of the value creation process from a Public Service Logic (Gronroos, 2019; Osborne, 2021). We then explore some of limitations of drawing on this literature, which has traditionally been applied to the commercial sector, in facilitating a comprehensive understanding of value creation in a public service setting. Finally, the chapter will conclude with a consideration of three core challenges for progressing the Public Service Logic (PSL)