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Publication - Professor Sarah Ayres

    How can network leaders promote public value through soft metagovernance?


    Ayres, S, 2019, ‘How can network leaders promote public value through soft metagovernance?’. Public Administration, vol 97., pp. 279-295


    The aim of this article is to explore the opportunities and challenges of employing ‘soft’ metagovernance to promote public value in governance networks. Soft metagovernance can be defined as a form of relational leadership that is exercised through face-to-face contact. This involves making an emotional connection with people to exert influence through a collaborative endeavor, rather than employing bureaucratic authority. Drawing on a case study of a local social enterprise - The Bristol Pound - in the UK, this article examines how soft metagovernance can be used by non-state actors as a form of leadership to create public value. Evidence reveals that relational forms of leadership are a powerful asset in helping leaders of networks to create public value. Moreover, if network leaders understand how soft metagovernance functions they can use it more purposefully to maximize public value creation and mitigate the risks of public value destruction in governance networks.

    Full details in the University publications repository