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ABSTRACT. Long term changes in public values are not easily detected. One important reason is the limited availability of reliable empirical data. Job advertisements allow us to go back in history for some decades and job ads may present us with the values that are supposed to guide civil servant behavior. This paper analyses a sample of job ads from 1966 to 2008 in Denmark and the Netherlands. The analysis reveals that Denmark and the Netherlands follow the same pattern: a) merit (expertise/professionalism) is and continues to be the most important selection criteria, but the meaning of merit explodes in several directions; b) job ads develop into platforms for organizational branding with an emphasis on HR-related values although national logos enter the scene (the Danish royal crown, the Dutch national emblem); c) New Public Management values do not crowd out other values, rather value intensity increases. pp. 59–80

Keywords: public value; value change; professional values; job advertisements; selection criteria; agencification

How to cite: Jørgensen, Torben Beck, and Mark R. Rutgers (2014), “Tracing Public Values Change: A Historical Study of Civil Service Job Advertisements,” Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 6(2): 59–80.

TORBEN BECK JØRGENSEN
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Department of Political Science,
University of Copenhagen
MARK R. RUTGERS
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Graduate School of Social Sciences,
University of Amsterdam

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