As a new concept in the field of public management, public productivity has become an important criterion for measuring government management and public service, and a significant sign reflecting the public managing competence of the government. China is now in a critical period of economic and social transition as well as administrative system reform. The study on public productivity offers a new approach to the interpretation of administrative system reform and the improvement of public management capacity. Based on previous research done by western scholars，we contend that public productivity can be comprehended from the following three perspectives. First, public productivity is a unit of measurement of efficiency and effects, which explains how the public resources are used effectively and efficiently. Second, the term “public” underlines the publicness of the public productivity, which refers to the capacity of the public sector, the government in particular, to allocate and employ public resources to meet public needs. Third, public productivity should comply with the value of public ethics and the rule of law. Public productivity and productivity share similarities in the sense that they both pursue economy and pay great attention to management. However, public productivity entails profound political values and attaches more importance to transparency, participation, responsiveness, obligation, trust and the balance of interests, etc. In addition, it is subject to laws and embedded with the value orientation of public ethics. This paper establishes an analytical framework based on the five dimensions of economics, management, politics, laws and ethics, and attempts to analyze comprehensively the current situation and problems of public productivity in China. First, from the economic point of view, public productivity is reflected in the efficiency of the public sector in the allocation of scarce resources, or how to maximize the allocation efficiency of public resources. Here, we deal mainly with the economy and efficiency of the activities of the public sector. Second, from the management point of view, we can evaluate public productivity from the perspective of basic management functions such as planning, organization, leadership and control, etc. Third, from the political point of view, we can analyze public productivity mainly through the functioning of the public sector in public policy-making and the transparency, participation, responsiveness, obligation, trust and balance of interests since the use and allocation of public resources are mainly determined by the public policies made by the representative institution or the government. Fourth, from the legal point of view, we can study the legitimacy of public productivity through legal procedures, legal entity, legality and the strength of enforcement. Fifth, from the ethical point of view, we can analyze public productivity by focusing on fairness and justice as well as obligation. From the five aforementioned dimensions, several characteristics of the public productivity in China are displayed in the following. First, the capacity of the public sector is quite high in terms of resource allocation and social mobilization. Second, progress has been made in administrative system reform and government management innovation. Third, political democratization has been improved, and the level of public participation in public policy-making has been enhanced. Fourth, progress has been achieved in the construction of the government by the rule of law. Fifth, the public management and public service have started to become more people-oriented and concern more about fairness and justice. Nonetheless, the overall standard of public productivity is still low in China due to many factors in the transition period. First, the cost of resource allocation in the public sector is too high. Second, the management level of the public sector is relatively low. Third, civic engagement and public supervision are insufficient in public affairs management and public policy making. Fourth, the capability of administration according to law in the public sector is yet to be improved. Fifth, there are the sober concerns of the degradation of ethical values. Based on the above analysis, we argue that public productivity can be promoted from the following perspectives. First, from the perspective of economics, the market mechanisms should be introduced more to the public sector in order to improve the development of the PPP（public-private partnership） model for public service. Second, from the perspective of management, more emphasis should be put on the public organization reform and the innovation of public management techniques. Third, from the perspective of politics, we should advocate more public participation in public policy making. Fourth, from the perspective of law, the government should strengthen administration by law so as to increase the legitimacy of government administration. Fifth, from the perspective of ethics, the government should reinforce the construction of public ethics. Besides, from the perspective of integration, a comprehensive evaluation system of public productivity should be set up in the public sector. This research tries to promote the development of the study on public productivity in China. First, this paper fills in a gap in the systematic study of public productivity in China, and defines the concept of public productivity based on the existing research. Second, the paper sets up an analytical framework and applies it to the comprehensive analysis of the public productivity in China. Last, the paper proposes the construction of a set of evaluation indicators and mechanism as guidance for practice.
胡税根 盛禹正 胡 旭. 公共生产力的界定、分析框架及改进[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2012, 42(2): 22-34.
Hu Shuigen Sheng Yuzheng Hu Xu. The Definition, Analytical Framework and Improvement of Public Productivity. , 2012, 42(2): 22-34.