Knights and knaves return: Public service motivation and the delivery of public services

  • Le Julian G
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There are several models for delivering public services such as health care or education, most of which can be summarised under the headings of trust, mistrust, voice, and choice. Each contains assumptions concerning the motivation of the professionals and others who provide the service concerned: that is, the extent to which they are knaves, motivated primarily by self-interest, or knights, motivated by altruism and the desire to provide a public service. This article highlights the assumptions concerning motivation implicit in each of the delivery models, illustrating the points made by reference to the author's experience as a senior policy adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and to some evidence on the performance of public services under the different models.

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  • Grand Le Julian

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