Policy & Politics
Advancing knowledge in public and social policy

How public leaders can promote public value through co-creation

Authors:
Eva SørensenRoskilde University, Denmark and NORD University, Norway

Search for other papers by Eva Sørensen in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
,
John BrysonUniversity of Minnesota, USA

Search for other papers by John Bryson in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
, and
Barbara CrosbyUniversity of Minnesota, USA

Search for other papers by Barbara Crosby in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
Restricted access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

Governance researchers are increasingly interested in how co-creation can contribute to promoting public value in contemporary liberal democracies. While many have already argued for the potential benefits of employing co-creation in government strategies aiming to enhance public value, few have considered the implications of such a strategy for public leadership. Drawing on recent strands of theory on leadership and management, we specify how public leaders can use co-creation as a tool to achieve policy goals, and we illustrate this specification by showing how politicians and public and non-profit managers perform the public leadership of co-created public value in Gentofte, Denmark and Minneapolis‒St Paul, USA. The main proposition is that this kind of public leadership does not only involve a strategic effort to engage, inspire and mobilise actors with relevant governance assets – including legitimacy, authority and capabilities – but also to align their understandings of what is valuable for the public.

  • Alford, J. (2008) The limits to traditional public administration, or rescuing public value from misrepresentation, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 67(3): 35766. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8500.2008.00593.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ansell, C. and Gash, A. (2008) Collaborative governance in theory and practice, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(4): 54371. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mum032

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ansell, C. and Gash, A. (2017) Collaborative platforms as a governance strategy, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 28(1): 1632. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mux030

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ansell, C. and Torfing, J. (2021) Public Governance as Co-creation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ayres, S. (2017) Assessing the impact of informal governance on political innovation, Public Management Review, 19(1): 90107. doi: 10.1080/14719037.2016.1200665

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barzelay, M. (2020) Public Management as A Design-oriented Professional Discipline, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

  • Bason, C. (2018) Leading Public Sector Innovation, Bristol: Policy Press.

  • Benington, J. (2011) From private choice to public value, in J. Benington and M. Moore (eds) Public Value, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 3149.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benington, J. and Moore, M. (2011) Public value in complex and changing times, in J. Benington and M. Moore (eds) Public Value, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Biddle, B.J. (2013) Role Theory, Cambridge: Academic Press.

  • Bolden, R. (2011) Distributed leadership in organizations, International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(3): 25169. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2011.00306.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bovaird, T. and Löffler, E. (2004) Understanding public management and governance, in T. Bovaird and E. Löffler (eds) Public Management and Governance, Abingdon: Routledge, pp 2738.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bozeman, B. (2007) Public Values and Public Interest, Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.

  • Bozeman, B. and Johnson, J. (2015) The political economy of public values, The American Review of Public Administration, 45(1): 6185. doi: 10.1177/0275074014532826

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryson, J.M., Crosby, B.C. and Stone, M.M. (2006) The design and implementation of cross-sector collaborations: propositions from the literature, Public Administration Review, 66: 4455.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bradford, W.D. (2014) The ‘myth’ that black entrepreneurship can reduce the gap in wealth between black and white families, Economic Development Quarterly, 28(3): 25469. doi: 10.1177/0891242414535468

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryson, J.M., Crosby, B.C. and Bloomberg, L. (eds) (2015a) Public Value and Public Administration, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryson, J.M., Crosby, B.C. and Stone, M.M. (2015b) The design and implementation of cross‐sector collaborations, Public Administration Review, 75(5): 64763. doi: 10.1111/puar.12432

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryson, J., Sancino, A., Benington, J. and Sørensen, E. (2017) Towards a multi-actor theory of public value co-creation, Public Management Review, 19(5): 64054. doi: 10.1080/14719037.2016.1192164

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryson, J.M., Crosby, B.C. and Seo, D. (2020a) Using a design approach to create collaborative governance, Policy & Politics, 48(1): 16789. doi: 10.1332/030557319X15613696433190

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryson, J.M., Crosby, B.C. and Seo, D. (2020b) Strategizing on behalf of social enterprise, Public Management Review, doi: 10.1080/14719037.2020.1798128.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burns, J.M. (1978) Leadership, New York: Harper & Row.

  • Christiansen, F.J. and Seeberg, H.B. (2016) Cooperation between counterparts in parliament from an agenda-setting perspective, West European Politics, 39(6): 116080. doi: 10.1080/01402382.2016.1157744

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clarke, N., Jennings, W., Moss, J. and Stoker, G. (2018) The Good Politician, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Crosby, B.C. and Bryson, J.M. (2005) Leadership for the Common Good, New York: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Crosby, B.C. and Bryson, J.M. (2010) Integrative leadership and the creation and maintenance of cross-sector collaborations, The Leadership Quarterly, 21(2): 21130. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.01.003

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dalton, R.J. and Welzel, C. (eds) (2014) The Civic Culture Transformed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Day, D.V., Gronn, P. and Salas, E. (2006) Leadership in Team-based Organizations, The Leadership Quarterly, 17(3): 21116. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2006.02.001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ernst, C. and Chrobot-Mason, D. (2011) Boundary Spanning Leadership, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • Evans, M., Stoker, G. and Halupka, M. (2019) How Australian federal politicians would like to reform their democracy, Democracy 2025, Report 5, Museum of Australian Democracy, University of Canberra.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hood, C. (1991) A public management for all seasons?, Public Administration, 69(1): 319. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.1991.tb00779.x

  • Horowitz, M.J. (1982) The history of the public/private distinction, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 130(6): 142328. doi: 10.2307/3311976

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kane, J., Patapan, H. and ’t Hart, P. (eds) (2009) Dispersed Democratic Leadership, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Keane, J. (2013) Civil Society, New York: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Koch, D. and Mauer, R. (2015) How to foster effectuation in the corporate context?, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 35(13): 17.

  • Meuleman, L. (2008) Public Management and the Metagovernance of Hierarchies, Networks and Markets, New York: Springer.

  • Meyer, M.W. (1968) The two authority structures of bureaucratic organization, Administrative Science Quarterly, 13(29): 21128. doi: 10.2307/2391452

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meynhardt, T. (2009) Public value inside, International Journal of Public Administration, 32(3‒4): 192219. doi: 10.1080/01900690902732632

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moore, M.H. (1995) Creating Public Value, Washington: Harvard University Press.

  • Moore, M.H. and Benington, J. (2011) Conclusions, in J. Benington and M. Moore (eds) Public Value: Theory and Practice, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp 25674.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morse, R.S. (2010) Integrative public leadership, The Leadership Quarterly, 21(2): 23145. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.01.004

  • O’Leary, R. and Bingham, L.B. (eds) (2009) The Collaborative Public Manager, Washington: Georgetown University Press.

  • Ongaro, E. (2017) Philosophy and Public Administration, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Osborne, S.P. (2010) The New Public Governance?, New York: Routledge.

  • Osborne, D. and Gaebler, T. (1993) Reinventing Government, Reading: Addison-Wesley.

  • Ostrom, E. (1996) Crossing the great divide, World Development, 24(6): 107387. doi: 10.1016/0305-750X(96)00023-X

  • Papadopoulos, Y. (2007) Problems of democratic accountability in network and multilevel governance, European Law Journal, 13(4): 46986. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0386.2007.00379.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peters, B.G. (2002) Politics of Bureaucracy, Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Pew Research Centre (2017) Few worldwide have a lot of trust in their government, retrieved from: http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/10/16/many-unhappy-with-current-political-system/pg_2017-10-16_global-democracy_1-03/, (Accessed: October 2019)

  • Pollitt, C. and Bouckaert, G. (2017) Public Management Reform, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Power, M. (1997) The Audit Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Sarasvathy, S.D. (2008) Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Sartori, G. (1987) Democratic Theory Revisited, New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Schumpeter, J.A. (1946) Economic Theory and Entrepreneurial History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • Sørensen, E. (2006) Metagovernance, The American Review of Public Administration, 36(1): 98114.

  • Sørensen, E. (2020) Interactive Political Leadership, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Sørensen, E. and Torfing, J. (2016) Samlet evaluering af den nye politiske arbejdsform i Gentofte kommune, Final Evaluation Report, Gentofte Municipality. Downloaded, (Accessed: 20 06 2020), file:///C:/Users/eva/Downloads/Samlet%20evaluering%20af%20den%20nye%20politiske%20arbejdsform%20i%20Gentofte%20Kommune.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sørensen, E. and Torfing, J. (2019) Towards robust hybrid democracy in Scandinavian municipalities?, Scandinavian Political Studies, 42(1): 2549.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steen, T., Brandsen, T. and Verschuere, B. (2018) The dark side of co-creation and Co-production, in T. Brandsen, T. Steen and B. Verschuere (eds) Co-production and Co-creation: Engaging Citizens in Public Services, Abingdon: Taylor & Francis, pp 28493.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stoker, G. (2006) Public value management: a new narrative for networked governance?, The American Review of Public Administration, 36(1): 4157. doi: 10.1177/0275074005282583

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Svara, J.H. (2001) The myth of the dichotomy, Public Administration Review, 61(2): 17683. doi: 10.1111/0033-3352.00020

  • Torfing, J. (2016) Collaborative Innovation in the Public Sector, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

  • Torfing, J. and Sørensen, E. (2019) Interactive political leadership in theory and practice, Administrative Sciences, 9(3): 51. doi: 10.3390/admsci9030051

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Torfing, J., Peters, B.G., Pierre, J. and Sørensen, E. (2012) Interactive Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Torfing, J., Andersen, L.B., Greve, C. and Klausen, K.K. (2020) Public Governance Paradigms, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Van Meerkerk, I. and Edelenbos, J. (2018) Boundary Spanners in Public Management and Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Vedung, E., Rist, R.C. and Bemelmans-Videc, M.L. (eds) (1998) Carrots, Sticks & Sermons, Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

  • Voorberg, W., Bekkers, V. and Tummers, L. (2014) Co-creation in social innovation: A comparative case-study on the influential factors and outcomes of co-creation, Ottowa: IRSPM.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weber, M. (1947) Legitimate authority and bureaucracy, in M. Weber (ed) The Theory of Social and Economic Organisation, New York: Oxford University Press, pp 32840.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, W. (1887) The study of administration, Political Science Quarterly, 2(2): 197222. doi: 10.2307/2139277

  • Woldendorp, J.J., Keman, H. and Budge, I. (2013) Party Government in 48 Democracies (1945‒1998), Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Eva SørensenRoskilde University, Denmark and NORD University, Norway

Search for other papers by Eva Sørensen in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
,
John BrysonUniversity of Minnesota, USA

Search for other papers by John Bryson in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
, and
Barbara CrosbyUniversity of Minnesota, USA

Search for other papers by Barbara Crosby in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 334 334 102
Full Text Views 535 535 15
PDF Downloads 441 441 20

Altmetrics

Dimensions