SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 6 – Strategic Management as an Enabler of Co-creation in Public Services

ongaro et alEdoardo Ongaro, Alessandro Angelo Sancino, Irene Pluchinotta, Hannah Williams, Martin Kitchener and Ewan Ferlie

In our recent contribution to the special issue on Strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation, our article offers an important contribution to the integration of strategic management and co-creation by demonstrating how the co-creation of public value may be enabled by strategic management.

We demonstrate this by conceptually elaborating, and then empirically illustrating, the potential for models of strategic public management to enable the co-creation of public service solutions that enhance public value. Our main research question explores how and under what conditions the adoption of models of strategic management in Public Service Organisations (PSOs) can support and enable the co-creation of public service solutions. Through our analysis, we aim to fill a gap in the literature by considering the importance of an underlying strategic orientation towards value creation that provides a value base upon which to embed these approaches within PSOs.

Specifically, we offer four main analytical and theoretical principles from our empirical analysis:

  1. the co-creation of public services solutions requires an understanding of what is valued by users and publics;
  2. the co-creation of public services as a mode of collaborative governance is more effective when there is a history, culture and an ecosystem oriented towards active participation and engagement;
  3. the co-creation of public service solutions is more effective when it is embedded into a wider organisational strategy and structure that facilitates community participation and engagement; and
  4. the co-creation of public service solutions is enabled by participatory leadership matched with deliberate social designs of delegated decision power and authority to citizens.

We conclude by offering propositions for theory building and further empirical testing on the main drivers, enablers and key issues for strategically managing processes of co-creation of public service solutions.

In sum, our article demonstrates how strategic management can contribute to research on the practice of co-creation to create public value and improve public governance and management. We advocate that future research could and should continue investigating how strategic management can be linked with value generation in public services which are becoming increasingly complex, both in terms of citizens’ expectations and the operations through which they are delivered.

You can read the original research in Policy & Politics:

Ongaro, Edoardo; Sancino, Alessandro; Pluchinotta, Irene; Williams, Hannah; Kitchener, Martin; Ferlie, Ewan (2021) ‘Strategic management as an enabler of co-creation in public services‘,  Policy & Politics, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/030557321X16119271520306

Read the other blog pieces in the series: 

Blog 1 – Public value as the game changer for co-creation of innovative solutions in the public sector

Blog 2 – Co-creation: the new kid on the block in public governance

Blog 3 – How public leaders can use co-creation to make things better

Blog 4 -Big dreams and small steps: regional policy networks and what they achieve

Blog 5 – Digital platforms for the co-creation of public value

Read the entire special issue for free until 31 May 2021: 

Strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation

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