The main objective of the article is to review relevant literature on (competing) public values in public management and to present a number of perspectives on how to deal with value conflicts in different administrative settings and contexts. We start this symposium with the assumption that value conflicts are prevalent, the public context can be characterized by value pluralism, and instrumental rationality does not seem to be the most useful to understand or improve value conflicts in public governance. This begs the question: what is the best way to study and manage value conflicts? The contributions to this symposium issue approach value conflicts in public governance from different perspectives, within different countries and different administrative and management systems, hoping to contribute to the debate on how to deal with important yet conflicting public values in public management, without pretending to offer a conclusive strategy or approach. This introductory article also presents and reviews the contributions to this symposium issue. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.