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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Public Management Review

For a Special Issue on
Evaluating and extending Public Services Logic

Abstract deadline
24 October 2021

Manuscript deadline
31 March 2022

Cover image - Public Management Review

Special Issue Editor(s)

David Mills, Southern Cross University, Australia
[email protected]

Robyn Keast, Southern Cross University, Australia
[email protected]

Tina Nabatchi, Syracuse University, USA
[email protected]

Maria Cucciniello, University of Edinburgh Business School
[email protected]

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Evaluating and extending Public Services Logic

Does Public Service Logic (PSL) meet the need of stakeholders, present and future?  Legislators, elected officials, public service organizations (PSO), service staff from government, private, and not-for-profit organizations, and service users and their 'significant others' can be negatively affected by the over-simplistic conceptualizations of public services under the New Public Management (NPM) phenomenon.  PSL takes an alternative, grounded, user-centric approach. Through its emphasis upon the opportunities for co-design, co-production and accommodation of the reality of the complex interaction of service system actors at each stage of the public service process, PSL offers the capacity to provide better outcomes for stakeholders.

Yet, PSL is still developing.  A consistent application of a service logic to the public services context emerged in the middle of the last decade.  The benefits of criticism and consequent development only now are materializing.

This Special Edition seeks to assemble articles that examine myriad aspects of PSL, including for example, real-world applications, critiques, and tools for use by stakeholders.

PSL is a theory as to service provision that emphasises the responsibilities of legislators and service delivery professionals to adopt service system creation processes that provide apposite and timely collaboration with users and their representatives.  Those responsibilities are made more complex by the conflicting perceptions of multiple users and broader stakeholders. This situation raises questions of whether PSL prescriptions of heightened, more frequent, and authentic collaboration are valid, and, if so, whether service-specific, innovative collaborative governance theory and institutional practice have been established, and if not, how PSL might be amended to address gaps.

Stephen Osborne acknowledges that many public management tools came out of the manufacturing sector, including public service accounting, performance and quality management, strategic planning, and strategic management, and that many now are moving towards a service orientation.  Have these tools evolved to play a role in the PSL conceptualization and in practice?

This special edition of Public Management Review intends to interrogate key assumptions of PSL and further develop theory and practice.  We invite papers reporting theoretical or empirical research that advances any aspect of Public Service Logic including, but not restricted to, the following:

  • Does the introduction of public value creation (or destruction) into the narrative better align with the perspectives of users and other stakeholders? In what ways has a user value approach been shown to assist the making of better policy? How can PSL be further developed to better explicate methods to manage the tension between private value created and public value demands and stewardship obligations?  How can PSL provide the public and private value inherent in a society’s gender and diversity beliefs?
  • Can the development of theory and application of PSL by reference to individual users in health care services and to a lesser extent custodial and education services, be satisfactorily extended to public services where the users are typically homogenous, as for example in networked infrastructure-based services and utilities?
  • Is there evidence that the requirement for early and authentic collaboration in the policy and co-creation stages of design engenders innovative project governance design? Similarly, has the need for collaboration with users and other stakeholders in the production and use stages of service design led to the development of bespoke hybrid governance models?
  • What are the tensions between pressures for COVID-19 safe service and efficiency through smart devices and artificial intelligence (AI) and on service design that meets the heterogeneous needs of the service user, and how have these tensions been experiences and addressed? Are there examples of the application of digital and virtual technologies that create (or destroy) the value perceived by service users?  
  • Are performance management systems (widely conceptualised) for public services privileging measures that directly portray the value perceived by service users?  If not, what might be measures that represent the value perceived by users?
  • Has the potential of the public service ecosystem (PSE) concept to explain public service logic been achieved? What finer detail is needed at the institutional, service, and individual levels of the ways in which PSL can advance better outcomes for service users? In what ways can PSE enhance the exploration of the interaction between values and societal norms, public service delivery processes and systems, individual agency, and value creation? In what ways can the theory and practice of ecological systems, such as developmental social ecologies assist in the further development of PSL? What are the realities and opportunities of relationships experienced in non-linear co-design and co-production?

Submission Instructions

The Call process:

First a Call will be made on the PMR Website, IRSPM Facebook site and in our personal Facebook, LinkedIn pages, and broader networks.

Interested authors would be asked to submit an abstract of 500 words about their paper by 24 October 2021.

Those abstracts will be lodged in a shared Drive.  At least two Guest Editors will consider each abstract and will develop a justified recommendation, as to whether the proposal shows promise, for the determination of the full panel of Guest Editors.  Those authors whose proposals show promise will by 30 November 2021 be invited to submit a full paper by 31 March 2022.

Full papers will be the focus of an authors’ workshop at IRSPM 2022 in Budapest.  Authors will share their papers, make presentations and Editors and participants will suggest ways in which the papers can be improved. Alternate arrangements will be made for authors who are not able to attend IRSPM2022.

After that, revised full papers will be sent for full peer review, using the PMR manuscript submission process (June 2022).  We will select three reviewers for each paper, but accept that a decision can be made on the basis of two, if delays start to occur.  All four of the Guest Editors will comprehensively assess the paper, and a joint decision about the paper will be made.  We will liaise with the PMR Editor should there be areas of doubt or concern where advice would be helpful but otherwise the special issue Guest Editors expect to handle the full review and decision process.  There is considerable experience in the group of editors in initiating and bringing special issues to a successful conclusion.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article