Changing values in public professions - a need of value-based leadership?
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- NTNU Handelshøyskolen 
Over the past thirty years, the public sector has undergone extensive modernisation. As part of the New Public Management agenda new principles have been introduced, and market solutions have been implemented across a broad range of service areas. These reforms have challenged the existing organisational culture of many public professions. Our objective in this paper is to examine whether these large structural reforms have influenced fundamental values at the municipal level and thereby created important challenges for the leaders. The results of the study show that two central values connected to the New Public Management agenda have gained increased importance over recent years – namely ‘meeting the needs of individual users’ and ‘renewal/innovation’. Of the listed values which are perceived as having become more important, these are ranked as the top two. At the same time, values traditionally associated with the public ethos continue to enjoy a strong position, whereas purely economic values remain relatively insignificant.