Value conflicts in public organizations: Implications and remedies

Ulrich T. Jensen, Carina Schott, Trui Steen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The public sector and all its entities are characterized by a plurality of values. As a result, public service professionals and public managers often find themselves in situations where different conceptions of what is deemed desirable conflict with one another and render a singular, unambiguous path to better performance a hallucination. This chapter reviews research on value conflicts in public organizations to offer three contributions. First, it identifies the consequences of value conflicts on professionals’ attitudes, behaviors, and performance. Second, the chapter discusses how individual service professionals and public managers can address value conflicts in organizational contexts. Third, and finally, the chapter outlines a series of critical questions on the antecedents and consequences of value conflicts the current literature has yet to address.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationManaging for Public Service Performance
Subtitle of host publicationHow People and Values Make a Difference
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780192893420
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Leadership
  • Public service professionals
  • Public values
  • Socialization
  • Value conflict
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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