What should governments do to people who don’t want to vaccinate? This question is especially pressing in the age of COVID-19, as policymakers face challenging questions about whether to exclude committed vaccine refusers from their jobs or public spaces. But this issue, like so many others during the pandemic, is highly contingent and uncertain: policymakers are implementing responses to vaccine refusal without being confident about the consequences of their policies. Continue reading →
Innovation in the public sector has climbed to the top of government agendas with ambitions to make public administration flexible in the face of societal ruptures. There is a growing body of research which tries to identify how institutions and systems respond to surprises, uncertainty and errors. Studies also provide insights on how different institutional conditions enable individuals and organisations to respond to profound change. In my recent article in Policy & Politics, I argue that organisation theory may help to serve as a bridge between theory and practice linking scholarship to the realities of practice, concerned not just with how things are, but how things might be. Given certain goals, such as innovation in public organisations, organisation designers would thus be capable of recommending structural solutions. Continue reading →
This quarter’s collection highlights three of our most popular and highly cited articles in 2021 which, based on their readership and citation levels, have clearly made an important contribution to their fields.
The first article, A theoretical framework for studying the co-creation of innovative solutions and public value, forms an introduction to the special issue on co-creation in public policy and governance, guest edited by Jacob Torfing, Ewan Ferlie, Tina Jukić and Edoardo Ongaro, published in April 2021. The central proposition is that the concept of public value carries unexploited potential as a ‘game changer’ for advancing the co-creation of innovative solutions in the public sector. They argue that it allows us to appreciate the many different public and private actors, including service users, citizens and civil society organisations, which can contribute to the production of public value. The authors quip that co-creation is the “new black” because it mobilises societal resources, enhances innovation and builds joint ownership over new public value outcomes. Continue reading →
All articles featured in this blog post are free to access until 31 October 2021
Introducing Elizabeth Koebele: our new Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Nevada, Reno.
I am thrilled to have begun serving as Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics in January 2021. I have spent the last few months taking over this position from my colleague, Oscar Berglund, who now serves as one of the journal’s co-editors. As many of us are beginning to plan for our policy and politics-focused courses next semester, I figured what better way to celebrate joining the P&P team than to share with you some of my favorite Policy & Politics articles that make a great fit on a variety of syllabi? I hope this saves you time and effort in mining our recent articles, while also ensuring your course materials reflect the latest research from the frontiers of the discipline.
My initial suggestions are structured around two general topics that I hope many of you find yourself teaching or studying: one focused on knowledge, and one focused on actors/influence. I’m also sharing my top picks for readings on an increasingly popular policy topic: policy diffusion/transfer. In each case, I’ve recommended three articles that represent some of the most significant research we’ve published recently. Please let me know what you think when you’re compiling your reading lists for the start of the academic year. I’d value your feedback and suggestions for future topics to cover! Continue reading →
In our second virtual issue of 2021, we focus on central-local relations and feature some of the latest research on that topic from a range of different perspectives and three quite different political systems. Against a backdrop of austerity coupled with an imminent global recession resulting from the pandemic, the politics of central-local relations and their impact on policy are, we believe, even more topical than ever. So we hope that you enjoy this short collection featuring some of our most recent scholarship on this theme. Continue reading →
basic definitions of co-production and co-creation along with the claim made of a move from lower order co-production to higher level co-creation. It is argued that it is not clear whether the organisational capabilities needed to support such a major transition are as yet present in an intensive and extensive enough form. The evidence from the empirical and case-based papers in the edition is mixed.
the link between co-creation and co-production and different models of strategic management which may help manage organisational wide transitions and get beyond small scale projects. The article considers why strategic management is important and which schools are the most promising. The public value school is seen as a critical ‘lynchpin’ (as the goal of co-production and co-creation activity may be to create public value enhancing innovations). In addition, the strategic planning and culture schools are seen as promising. The question of how strategy is formed in diffuse multi agency networks as opposed to single agencies is an important and unresolved one so it may be helpful to bring in additional literature on cooperative forms of strategy.
the potential role of digitalisation in the move to co-production and co-creation with ‘open platforms’ being designed by government and the third sector seen as promising;
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. Continue reading →
The private sector is changing towards a new model of production: the platform model. Industrial companies, such as Ford, are regarded as outdated and digital technology companies such as Uber and AirBnB, are dominating discussions about organisational models. These tech companies rely on the platform logic for the production of services. They rule the world economy and generate huge profits for their shareholders. In our recent article in this special issue on Strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation, we ask: if this organisational model is so successful, should the public sector not start using the same model to provide public value?
So what’s so special about the platform model? Central to platform organisations is their capacity to connect numerous users and coordinate their interactions. The hierarchic and sequential logic of the Fordist model is replaced by a horizontal and parallel logic. This mode of organisation is facilitated by platform technologies which process interactions between the many users accurately and fast. Our understanding of how this model works for the private sector is becoming firmly established but we still know very little about the value of this model for the public sector. Continue reading →
Special issue blog series on strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation
Nicolette van Gestel and Sanne Grotenbreg
In many Western countries there are high expectations ofregional networks in policy areas as diverse as healthcare, energy supply or security. In such regional networks, government is supposed to develop partnerships with private and non-profit parties, to develop solutions to societal problems that have broad support and commitment.Generally speaking, both public and private actors often recognise that theyneed each other to achieve theirgoals. But this idea does not generate success by itself. Sometimes actorstend to focus on their own advantage when participating in networks, and are not very efficient nor effective in working together.
Our recent article in Policy & Politicsfocuses on a study of regional networks involved inlabour market policy. Governments, employers, trade unions, clients and educational organisations are jointly looking for solutions to persistent problems, such as a discrepancybetween vacancies and job seekers, and the lack of job opportunities for people with mental or physical disabilities. In other words, they need to solve problems of mismatch and inequality that have increased further during the Covid-19 crisis. Decentralisation and regional co–operation should, in principle, ensure more integrated and efficient public services, but also engendercreative solutions that go beyond existing policy frameworks. Continue reading →
Special issue blog series on strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation
Eva Sørensen, John Bryson and Barbara Crosby
Governance researchers broadly agree that co-creation can be a productive way of mobilising the resources needed to solve complex societal problems and create something that citizens accept as valuable for society. We still know little about how public leaders can employ co-creation as a means to promote public value, however. In our new article in Policy & Politics ‘How public leaders can promote public value through co-creation’, we propose that co-creation can strengthen the ability of public leaders to align the goals of diverse constituencies in a way that achieves lasting value for the public. This kind of public leadership involves a strategic effort to engage, inspire and mobilise actors with relevant governance assets – including legitimacy, authority and capabilities. We illustrate the salience of our propositions in two case studies that document how politicians and public and non-profit managers perform public leadership of co-created public value in Gentofte, Denmark and Minneapolis‒St. Paul, USA.
The first step in specifying public leadership of co-created public value entails moving beyond traditional understandings of public leadership theory that have mainly focussed on the mobilisation of public sector actors and resources in solving public challenges as defined by politicians and civil servants according to rules and regulations. By contrast, leaders who aim to employ co-creation as a tool for promoting public value seek to mobilise actors and resources across organisations and sectors. The objective is not merely to improve public service delivery. It is also to promote an array of broader public value outcomes, which are not predefined by public authorities but are shaped and reshaped as part of the co-creation process. Continue reading →