Keeping It Public: Defending Public Service Values in a Customer Service Age

Source: Philip H. Jos, Mark E. Tompkins, Public Administration Review, Vol. 69 no. 6, November/December 2009
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From the abstract:
Notwithstanding the persistence and proliferation of calls to serve “customers,” these relationships incorporate distinctively public priorities and performance expectations–priorities and expectations often shaped by a desire to reduce customer vulnerabilities and prevent seller strategies that are deemed unacceptable. The authors examine these distinctively public relationships–between professionals and clients, guardians and wards, facilitators and citizens, and regulators and subjects. By acknowledging that public administration often involves relationships with multiple constituencies and that opportunities to serve them are bounded by particular legal and institutional contexts, this essay provides a pragmatic account of strategic opportunities to defend public service values.

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