Leading the co-production process: Who is in charge?

Hans Schlappa, Yassaman Imani

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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The notion of service co-production is becoming firmly embedded in the contemporary discourse on public service provision. While talking about co-production is rapidly gaining in popularity among policy makers and practitioners, the academic discourse is characterised by significant conceptual gaps despite an ever growing range of case studies of co-production. Of particular concern here is that questions associated with leading service co-production are theoretically and empirically under-developed. This paper makes a contribution towards filling this gap by putting forward a framework for the exploration of leadership in the co-production process. An initial and preliminary application of this framework to case studies of co-production suggests that the citizen co-producer is limited in the way she can enact leadership functions, the regular public service producer appears to be firmly ‘in the lead’ except where citizens are engaged in a process that runs from design, to management and implementation of a service.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2015
EventInternational Institute of Administrative Sciences- Study Group in Co-production in Public services - Nimegen, Netherlands
Duration: 8 Jun 20159 Jun 2015


ConferenceInternational Institute of Administrative Sciences- Study Group in Co-production in Public services


  • co-production
  • relational leadership
  • distributed leadership
  • expertise
  • structure
  • power and control


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