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A Very Public Search for Public Value: “Rhetorical Secretaries” in Westminster Jurisdictions


Grube, DC, A Very Public Search for Public Value: 'Rhetorical Secretaries' in Westminster Jurisdictions, Public Administration, 90, (2) pp. 445-465. ISSN 0033-3298 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01973.x


Senior bureaucrats in central agencies in Westminster jurisdictions frequently give keynote speeches as a part of their official function. What are these administrative leaders talking about, and to whom, and why does it matter? This paper will seek to answer those questions through the lens of public value theory by considering whether 'public rhetorical leadership' by senior bureaucrats is a legitimate contribution to the search for public value, and what challenges such behaviour may present to good governance. The speeches of senior bureaucrats in four Westminster jurisdictions - Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom - are examined as examples of how bureaucratic 'public rhetorical leadership' is currently being exercised. The paper concludes that the way in which senior bureaucrats exercise their rhetorical power can have significant implications for the implementation of policy, and for questions of bureaucratic accountability. © 2011 The Authors. Public Administration © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Grube, DC (Associate Professor Dennis Grube)
ID Code:99016
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Arts, Law and Education
Deposited On:2015-03-11
Last Modified:2017-11-30

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