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  • Author or Editor: Ewan Ferlie x
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The paper seeks to develop a more behavioural understanding of new style ‘quasi markets’ in the public sector. Theoretically, the paper critiques transaction cost based approaches and argues that the ‘new economic sociology’ can be fruitfully applied in these settings. Case study evidence is presented from the National Health Service (NHS). The evidence suggests that the internal market in health care should be seen as relational and as socially and institutionally embedded.

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The articles in this special issue add to a rapidly developing literature on co-creation in public services management. This final article focuses what might otherwise be a wide ranging discussion by addressing core themes proposed in the special issue’s introduction. We consider:

  • basic definitions of co-production and co-creation; the claim of a possible move from lower order co-production to higher level co-creation;

  • the link with different models of strategic management, why strategic management is important and which models are promising;

  • the potential role of digitalisation in the move to co-production and co-creation;

  • the possible link with co-creation informed innovation which contributes to the pursuit of public value outcomes.

We examine the potential role of strategic management along with the nature of any ‘metagovernance’ of associated policy networks. The conclusion makes general observations and considers future research direction.

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The chapters in this edited collection add to a rapidly developing literature on co-creation in public services management. This final chapter focuses what might otherwise be a wide ranging discussion by addressing core themes proposed in the volume’s introduction. We consider:

• basic definitions of co-production and co-creation; the claim of a possible move from lower order co-production to higher level co-creation;

• the link with different models of strategic management, why strategic management is important and which models are promising;

• the potential role of digitalisation in the move to co-production and co-creation;

• the possible link with co-creation informed innovation which contributes to the pursuit of public value outcomes.

We examine the potential role of strategic management along with the nature of any ‘metagovernance’ of associated policy networks. The conclusion makes general observations and considers future research direction.

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There has been a growing demand for analysis of healthcare process as it has become increasingly recognised that patients, professionals and managers tend to value aspects of process as much as healthcare outcomes. The articles in this special section of Policy & Politics aim to consider the methodological and theoretical challenges involved in exploring the questions addressed in process analysis and process evaluation. This introductory article provides an overview of the general questions that need to be explored and how the articles inform these questions. These general questions are organised around the following five analytical themes: theory building and process analysis; interface with policy and practice; epistemiological and methodological rigour and transparency; the analysis of context; and the need for greater external validity and cumulation.

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Literature relating to territorial variations in the pattern of service development is well established. Less emphasis has been placed on accounting for variations in the determinants of innovation through time. 1980 and 1982 data sets are compared with special emphasis on the changing role of financial variables. There appears to have been a switch from distress to growth-led innovation, at least in domiciliary care. Wider implications for policy are outlined.

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One of the most important aspects of the development of public policy during the 1970s was the extent to which instruments of public sector planning and resource allocation both proliferated and became more sophisticated. The history of this period is littered with the emergence of acronyms (such as HIPs, JASP and RAWP) reflecting the progress that was made, particularly in the field of social planning. The successful implementation of many of these developments, though, required a degree of ‘incremental space’ in public budgets provided by regular expenditure increases. Consequently, when the downturn in economic fortunes gathered pace in the second half of the 1970s many of the initiatives were crowded-out or put into abeyance. Moreover, as the fiscal constraints of the 1970s have been carried forward with new intensity into the 1980s, much of the optimism about meeting social needs more effectively which accompanied them has vanished. Certain commentators, however, have argued that some of the pessimism is unjustified and that the reversal of expenditure trends offers opportunities to public agencies to improve the efficiency of their operations.

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Like all output-producing organisations, social services departments must be concerned with efficiency, this concern being redoubled in the new era of budgetary retrenchment. In these circumstances, the fostering of innovations which will contribute to greater efficiency becomes crucial. In an attempt to analyse this process, we first of all list various ‘signs’ which indicate the presence of greater efficiency and then produce ‘scores’ for authorities on this basis which we predict through various modelling procedures. We conclude that the most successful approach to the study of the improvement of efficiency through innovation sees such behaviour as largely motivated by the search for external finance. In these circumstances the construction of appropriate organisational incentives, such as Joint Finance, takes on a new significance.

We then analyse the process of implementation of such innovatory schemes and locate two cut-off points; the initial floating of the idea and the transition to mainstream practice. The latter blockage can be best explained through internal bargaining procedures among established producer groups.

Our conclusions are threefold. First, reviews of service provision clearly increase the propensity to innovate. In this case, it would appear to be most unwise to ask for disproportionate cuts in research, planning and development staff who usually playa major part in such reviews. Second, external financial incentives do playa major role in improving efficiency through innovation. Recent decisions to increase the level of Joint Financing must therefore be welcomed. Finally, internal barriers to innovation can be best overcome by top level support for innovation combined with the use of development officers to bridge the gap between very different producer groups.

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The expansion of the scope and significance of co-creation in public policy and governance prompts the integration of different theoretical strands that together can help us illuminating the antecedent conditions, the processes of multi-actor collaboration, the creation of innovative solutions, and the assessment of their public value. Exploring the affinities and complementarities of relevant perspectives such as theories of co-creation, public value management, public innovation, collaborative governance, network governance, strategic management and digital era governance may foster a more comprehensive framework for studying the co-creation of public value outcomes such as needs-based services, effective governance and democratic legitimacy. This introduction seeks to explain why we must transform the public sector in order to spur co-creation, how strategic management and digital platforms can support this transformation, and why we must bring together and synthesize different bodies of theory when studying the complex processes of co-creation and their drivers, barriers and outcomes.

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The expansion of the scope and significance of co-creation in public policy and governance prompts the integration of different theoretical strands that together can help us illuminating the antecedent conditions, the processes of multi-actor collaboration, the creation of innovative solutions and the assessment of their public value. Exploring the affinities and complementarities of relevant perspectives such as theories of co-creation, public value management, public innovation, collaborative governance, network governance, strategic management and digital era governance may foster a more comprehensive framework for studying the co-creation of public value outcomes such as needs-based services, effective governance and democratic legitimacy. This introduction seeks to explain why we must transform the public sector in order to spur co-creation, how strategic management and digital platforms can support this transformation, and why we must bring together and synthesize different bodies of theory when studying the complex processes of co-creation and their drivers, barriers and outcomes.

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As the practices of public governance are rapidly changing, so must the theoretical frameworks for understanding the creation of efficient, effective and democratic governance solutions.

First published as a special issue of Policy & Politics journal, this book explores the role of strategic management, digitalisation and generative platforms in encouraging the co-creation of innovative public value outcomes. It considers why we must transform the public sector to drive co-creation and the importance of integrating different theoretical strands when studying processes, barriers and outcomes.

This book lays out important stepping-stones for the development of new research into the ongoing transition to co-creation as a mode of governance.

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