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