I settled on the following title Understanding The Role of Public Managers in the 21st Century: Challenges and Debates. This will enable me to speak broadly about the changing role of public managers and how this has changed over time as waves of reform have redefined this role. It will also provide a chance to discuss some of the interesting debates that are emerging around the public value framework something I have spent quite a bit of time delving into over the last few years.
Recently John Alford and I published a piece in a special issue of the International Journal of Public Administration titled Making Sense of Public Value: Concepts, Critiques and Emergent Meanings. In the paper we revisited Mark Moore's original work on the public value framework - essentially a strategic management framework for the public sector - and then we considered how the notion of public value has taken off in different ways, especially over the last few years.
A fairly heated debate has been sparked through a serious of exchanges in the Australian Journal of Public Administration through a series of articles since 2007 which are essentially focused on the politics, management and whether this approach travels well outside the USA. More recently the debate has internationalised with our piece in the IJPA and a piece by Rod Rhodes and John Wanna being published in Public Administration. Expect this one to continue on for a while!