Growing City — Is Public Value Growing Too? Representative public value study for Leipzig by HHL
How do leading public and private organizations contribute to the common good in the city? HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management polled the citizens of Leipzig on this topic in a representative survey. This makes Leipzig the first city to have a public value atlas. Until now, these had only been compiled for countries (Switzerland, Japan and Germany).
In collaboration with opinion polling company Forsa, HHL interviewed 644 Leipzigers representative of the city’s population between the ages of 18 and 89 in June and July 2020. The citizens assessed how they thought an organization contributed to the common good in the fields of task fulfillment, quality of life, cohesion and morale. The respondents only rated organizations with which they were sufficiently familiar.
„The Public Value Atlas can serve as a kind of compass which not only allows for precise positioning but also offers potential by means of direct comparison at the same time.“
Burkhard Jung, Mayor of the City of Leipzig
Public institutions, clubs and associations
The winner of the ranking (just like in the 2015 and 2019 edition of the German Public Value Atlas) is the fire department, followed by the Leipzig Zoo and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. The top tier is generally dominated by public institutions, clubs and associations, which had already been observed in comparable studies. The municipal housing company Leipziger Wohnungs- und Baugesellschaft, savings bank Stadt- und Kreissparkasse Leipzig, local daily newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung, the Amazon distribution center, the Federal Employment Agency and the Job Center as well as soccer club 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig were at the bottom of the ranking while still generating favorable reviews.
Revaluation of local players — Covid as a catalyst?
On average, the population of Leipzig ranks the public value of its organizations higher than the population of Germany overall in the 2019 Public Value Atlas for Germany (4.58 in Leipzig, 3.81 in Germany). This result may be due to local proximity, features specific to Leipzig but also a sort of Covid effect. When asked about the effects of the coronavirus crisis, 60 of 100 respondents stated that public value had gained significance for them because of the pandemic. Everyone stressed that companies in particular should pay more attention to moral aspects. One third of the respondents are more prepared to accept concessions to a company’s core business if the company acts decently.
Public value moves people
Two thirds of the respondents would rather work in an organization upholding public value even if it meant salary reductions. Four in five people think that organizations should be punished for harming the common good.
A total of 59 percent of the respondents are concerned that not enough attention is paid to the topic in Leipzig. A comparison of the districts shows that most critical voices can be found in the south of the city. When comparing this latest study to the national survey conducted for 2019 Public Value Atlas, the citizens of Leipzig are generally less concerned about public value in Germany. Leipzigers are also more optimistic regarding social cohesion than Germans overall when compared to other studies. They hold the economy liable for public value with 83 percent of respondents believing that private companies have a high responsibility for the common good.
Public value changed with the reunification
Against the backdrop of the transformation process following the reunification of Germany, the results of the Public Value Atlas showed that the understanding of the concept of public value has changed significantly since 1990 in the new federal states for 71 out of 100 respondents. Particularly older respondents expressed this opinion. Many feel a loss of togetherness to a growing contentious mentality. The differences between the east and west continue to exist. Only 26 in 100 respondents think that the concept of public value is identical in the new and old federal states.
Professor views Leipzig’s optimism as a success factor
Project leader Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt on the study: „The city’s current growth dynamics are also reflected in the Public Value Atlas. The people’s fundamental optimism is a valuable asset which Leipzig can use to its benefit. The future of all stakeholders in the city will depend on how they are able to prove their relevance to public value and, in particular, how they contribute to the common good in Leipzig with their core activities. Many cities across Germany are facing this challenge. Leipzig is leading the way here.“
For detailed results, please visit www.gemeinwohlatlas.de.
Burkhard Jung, Mayor of the City of Leipzig, on the 2020 Public Value Atlas for Leipzig:
I am glad to have the Public Value Atlas premiere here in Leipzig. Leipzig represents change like no other city in Germany. After all, we are what is called a ‚reversal city‘ — meaning we managed to turn it around from shrinking to growing. At city hall, we are of course committed to public value. With the city council reaching 18th place, I see room for improvement but, overall, I think we can be content with our result — also with regard to the municipal companies. (…) I believe other cities will benefit from this study as well. The Public Value Atlas can serve as a kind of compass which not only allows for precise positioning but also offers potential by means of direct comparison at the same time.“
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is one the leading business schools in Germany and the world. It is a university-level private business school with the right to award doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. HHL’s Master in Management (M.Sc.) Program was recently awarded top ranks in the renowned Global Masters in Management Ranking by the Financial Times. In the THE Ranking, HHL’s program was ranked no. 1 in Europe and no. 2 worldwide in 2019 (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2019). HHL was named „Best Entrepreneurial University“ by Stifterverband for the fourth time in a row. The goal of the oldest business school in Germany is to educate entrepreneurially minded, responsible and effective leaders.
Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt, Dr. Arend Oetker Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftspsychologie und Führung