The Public Value and Shared Value Approaches

A Comparative Analysis and Lessons from the Shared Value Theory
  • Kaisa Sorsa
  • Mikko Sihvonen
Part of the Forschung und Praxis an der FHWien der WKW book series (FPGHW)


As public service media organisations are key actors in providing services that are vital for the health of a democratic society, public value has become a media policy term ‘du jour’ in Europe, which is embraced and integrated to internal policy processes of key European broadcasting organisations, including the British BBC and Austria’s ORF. Originally developed as a conceptual model with tools for developing management competence in the public sector, the public value notion is now used as an analysis tool in the context of media industry to identify outcomes that improve the welfare of the individuals, the society as a whole and the wider commercial market.

In parallel to the public value approach, another approach has been developed to quantify organisational outcomes in more broad terms. This Creating Shared Value (CSV) approach, mainly utilised in the context of private enterprise, is similar to the public value approach in that it seeks to steer the organisational strategies and behaviour towards the creation of economic value in a way that also creates value for society. Shared value is not corporate social responsibility or philanthropy, on the contrary, creating shared value is at the core of the business strategy. It is important to understand that if the organisation’s strategic objectives are supported by social investments, those investments will end up in its strategic plan and also become part of company’s DNA. And if the social investments are aligned with company strategy and integrated into its strategic plan, the organisation cannot eliminate them during economic downturns. The CSV approach argues that it gives companies competitive benefits over their competitors (Porter and Kramer in Harv Bus Rev 89(1), 62–77, 2011).

This chapter undertakes a critical comparison of the public value and shared value approaches. It analyses the origins of these approaches, their key characteristics and provides details about their current utilisation. The chapter will then proceed to critically analysing the current implementation of the public value approach in public service media organisations by detailing problematic issues in this respect, while it also seeks to explain how these issues stem from the origins of the approach and institutional culture within public service media organisations. The chapter then proceeds to a discussion about the contribution of the shared value approach, and proposes directions for a theoretical convergence between the public value and shared value approaches.


Public value Shared value Public service media Media convergence Media governance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Turku University of Applied SciencesTurkuFinland
  2. 2.ManchesterUK

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