In my concluding article for the forthcoming special issue on Strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation , I review the contributions from the other articles in the collection and considers what has been learnt. Building on the questions raised in the introductory paper, my article considers:
- 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;