Values versus Voice in Local Government: How Management Values Align with Giving Voice to Citizens

By Peter Demediuk and Rolf Solli.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Effective community engagement by local governments has the potential to facilitate citizens, individually and collectively, in using their knowledge and capacity to shape their lives and communities, and can help provide better decisions, better citizens and better government. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the degree to which the current values held by management in local governments are compatible with the concept of community engagement and its operationalisation. This paper uses a model to test the values of chief financial officers (CFOs - as key managerial gatekeepers) and the compatibility of these with what is required to facilitate citizen participation in government decision making. The findings note that whilst there is a considerable degree of misalignment between council attributes now and what is conducive for effective community engagement initiatives, CFOs have a view for the future values in local government that better support citizen participation in the work of government. In particular, CFOs have acknowledged the desirability of displacing professional and bureaucratic ideas that can limit community engagement with more supportive entrepreneurial and planning ideals.

Keywords: Local Government, Community Engagement, Citizen Participation, Decision Making, Values

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.161-170. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 905.055KB).

Dr. Peter Demediuk

Senior Lecturer, Centre for International Corporate Governance Research, School of Accounting & Finance, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Peter is a CPA and has wide experience in public sector resource management as a practitioner, consultant, educator and researcher and is currently on the Victorian CPA Public Sector and Technology Committees. His key interest is on performance measurement and organizational learning in government and the transportation and translation of international approaches to public sector performance management to different country settings.

Prof. Rolf Solli

Director, Goteborg Research Institute, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Goteborg, Sweden

Rolf Solli is a Professor and Director of the Goteborg Research Institute and specialises in public administration and managing big cities.

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