In the past decade, the study of public service management has developed into a vibrant academic field. Through this development, it is becoming apparent that the notion of value co-creation (Alford 2009) is key to our understanding of public services. This is negotiated and adjusted through interaction between the multiple identities (e.g. citizen, service user, customer, commissioner – see Alford 2002, Thomas 2012) and relationships invoked in co-design, co-production, co-innovation, and the co-evaluation of public services. This special issue of PMR aims to take forward the emerging research on the relationship between different modalities of co-creation (and co-destruction) of value in public services (e.g. Osborne et al. 2016, Bovaird et al. 2017).
We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions on these themes, particularly, but not exclusively, looking beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines (e.g. drawing on theories and perspectives from criminology, pedagogy, sociology, welfare, health, and urban studies, to list but a few) and contexts. We also wish to attract empirical and/or theoretical contributions which are representative of the incredibly diverse organizational configurations through which public value is pursued. Submissions are equally welcome from established and new researchers in the field. Issues of particular interest include those below – but equally other papers that explore the concept and meaning of the co-creation of value in public services are welcome:
- The meaning, nature and dimensions of ‘value’ in the context of public services and the implications of this for the public service delivery process
- The relationship/tension between public value (Moore 1995) and private value/’value-in-use’ in the delivery of public services
- The ways that public service organisations might enact or evaluate the achievement of ‘value’
- The dynamics of co-production and its relationship to value co-creation in public services
- Examining the multiple identities and relationships invoked in co-design, co-production, co-innovation and the co-evaluation of public services. This includes examining the relations between professional service provider, citizen and service user co-producers.
- The conceptual links among, and boundaries around, co-creation, co-design, and co-production
- Balancing the individual and the system in value co-creation
- The extent to which ‘social innovation’ and ‘collaborative innovation’ are useful concepts, or not, in helping to understand the co-creation of value in public services
- Strengths and limitations of using a public service-dominant approach to public services delivery in developing how we understand co-production and value co-creation
- Contingencies of successful co-production, co-design, and /or value co-creation in the public service delivery process and how might they be evaluated
- Understanding and evaluating the co-design of public services
- The dynamics of value ‘co-destruction’ in public service delivery and its implications
Submissions for the special issue should be made through the PMR web portal. Authors are encouraged to consider initial presentation of their papers at the special panel on this topic to be held during the IRSPM Annual Conference at the University of Edinburgh, 11th – 13th April 2018, though this is not a requirement.
Closing date for submissions is 1st July 2018. Publication is anticipated in late 2019.