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Public value theory was conceived in a time before the far-reaching consequences of the digital era were fully realized, without sufficient explicit consideration of the dynamic and disruptive shifts that might occur on the technological frontier, especially when driven by civil society. As such, the disruptive and citizen-driven nature of many digital technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, has yet to be incorporated into the public value discourse. This article examines the relevance of the public manager to disruptive digital innovations, arguing that value creation is a function of addressing the digital aspirations of citizens, and making technological disruption into a conduit for public value co-creation that is driven by citizens. This is accomplished through mechanisms such as regulatory and policy initiatives that ensure public managers strike a balance between innovation and accountability. It theorizes this using Moore’s strategic triangle to foresee a role for proactive engagement by public managers in citizen-driven public value creation that balances innovative impulses and stronger accountability.

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