Public value, here to stay

20 December 2017

Professor Martin Kitchener with guest speakers
L-R: Professor Martin Kitchener, Sophie Howe, Professor Timo Meynhardt and Stuart Emmerson

An audience of staff, students and members of the local community have heard how public value underpins the work of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, a leading academic and Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) at an event held in Cardiff Business School.

In a series of thought-provoking presentations, Sophie Howe, Professor Timo Meynhardt and Stuart Emmerson each made a case for the importance, complexity and multiplicity of public value as a driving force within their organisations.

Leading the way

Professor Martin Kitchener delivering presentation
Dean Professor Martin Kitchener introduced Cardiff Business School’s bold public value strategy in 2015 following consultation with staff, students and the business community

Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean of Cardiff Business School, said: “It’s really exciting to hear some of the latest thinking on public value in the company of an engaged audience here at the World’s first Public Value Business School...”

Martin Kitchener

“We want to continue to lead the way when it comes to public value by working collaboratively with partners across the academic, political and social enterprise sectors.”

Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean and Head of School

“Events such as these are therefore an important part of the continuing evolution of our public value strategy.”

Our unique legislative context

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, began proceedings by outlining the unique landscape that the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act has created in Wales.

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
Sophie Howe encouraging audience to think about the impact of our decisions on future generations

She said: “The Act places a whole new context around public value in Wales. It requires us to reconsider what we value from public policy and to ensure that social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing are all considered.

“It also poses a challenge for academics as well as the public sector, in how we effectively measure value...”

Sophie Howe - Avatar

“I’m delighted therefore that Cardiff has defined itself as the public value business school because it provides a perfect backdrop for working together to explore and define what this means within our unique legislative context in Wales.”

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

If complexity is the challenge, public value is the answer

Next, Professor Timo Meynhardt, the Dr Arend Oetker Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership at the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany and Managing Director of the Centre for Leadership and Values in Society at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, delivered a lecture on shaping and understanding public value.

Professor Timo Meynhardt delivering lecture
Professor Timo Meynhardt explains how we can understand public value as a psychological category

Professor Meynhardt said: “Public Value rejuvenates the old European discourse on common good.  In this respect, it can be understood as a way of engaging with the challenges facing society. Given our current situation, public value is clearly here to stay...”

Professor Timo Meynhardt - Avatar

“Public value thinking is attractive because it provides a direction of travel in times of overwhelming complexity. It this function of providing a “why” which transcends individual gains which helps people to (re)connect with their world – be it in small communities or up to a global scale.”

Professor Timo Meynhardt, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

“In our research we could demonstrate that employees get motivated by a vision only if it is public value-driven. If this holds, companies should reflect their purpose based on public value.”

Social Enterprise Places

Stuart Emmerson, Social Enterprise UK
A beacon of best practice. Stuart Emmerson anticipates the exciting opportunities for the School and City following SEUK membership

Stuart Emmerson brought proceedings to a close by outlining the work SEUK does in its role as the leading global authority on business with a social or environmental mission.

Outlining the positive social impact SEUK creates through its representation of over 80,000 social enterprises nationwide, Mr Emmerson looked forward to collaborative opportunities for staff students and the City of Cardiff in light of the School’s SEUK membership.

Find out more about the School’s Public value events series on the Cardiff University Website.

Find out more about how we are embedding our public value strategy across our research, teaching and governance.