Creating Public Value by Simplifying Processes? A Path in an Unexplored Territory

Bruno de RosaMichele Bertoni

Abstract

The paper considers the effects of administrative processes on the creation of public value. Administrative activities absorb a relevant part of public institutions’ resources. We analyze the accounting routines and procedures of some Italian public institutions: it emerges that recent reforms boosted complexity by requiring public organizations to generate a growing volume of accounting data. Moreover, controls made by external authorities have intensified. According to the literature, complexity generates costs: we show that in the public sector this negative consequence does not only affect the institutions themselves, but it also extends to the stakeholders. The paper is based on case studies that the authors could personally observe. In the conclusions, we analyze the main factors that contribute to generate complexity and their effects on the creation of public value. The stakeholder theory is adopted as theoretical background, considered that public value refers to all the subjects that are affected by the administrative action.

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