Covid-19 has led to renewed public support for public services. Frontline workers symbolize a renewed ideal of public service ethos (PSE), though little attention has been paid to how the public managers delivering vital services interpret and mobilize PSE. We show how PSE is implemented by public managers reflecting their local contexts. We examine the theoretical roots of PSE and challenges by newer theories of public management before illustrating its contemporary manifestations through three case studies of local government responses to Covid-19 in England, showing how PSE has been adapted in current contexts and continues to inform public management practice.


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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Shand, R., Parker, S., Liddle, J., Spolander, G., Warwick, L. & Ainsworth, S. 2022, 'After the applause: understanding public management and public service ethos in the fight against Covid - 19.', Public Management Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2022.2026690

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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