Governance and the Public Interest: The Challenges for Public Sector Leaders

  • John Dixon
  • Alan Sanderson
  • Smita Tripathi


The state’s governance role in advanced liberal democracies has certainly become more problematic and more complex in the face of a diverse array of delivery modes for the provision of public policy outcomes (Dixon 2003). On a command-market spectrum these would range from ‘central’ (national) ‘public’ provision, to ‘devolved’ (local and regional) ‘public’ provision, through ‘managerialised’ (corporatised and commercialised) ‘public’ provision, ‘supranational’ (external to the nation-state) ‘public’ provision, ‘communal’ (private-non-profit) provision, to ‘market’ (private-for-profit) provision. This spectrum is complicated by the emergence of multi-organizational partnerships, as implementers of public policy, involving agencies at the same or different points along this spectrum. Each of these delivery modes constitutes a distinctive regime that influences the nature of its relationship with the state in an environment in which there may be incongruent, even incompatible, public and private (more broadly, non-public) interests or motivations. This is creating a set of new governance challenges for government. What should the role of the state be in identifying and protecting the ‘public interest’ in a world that is becoming more diverse, more inter-dependent and more complex, and that is prone to governance failure.


Public Interest Leadership Style Public Provision Privatise Provision Governance Mode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Dixon
    • 1
  • Alan Sanderson
    • 2
  • Smita Tripathi
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  2. 2.University of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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