Leading service co-production: Preliminary findings from a study of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
This paper presents the findings from the first stage of a study that explores the co-production of fire prevention services in the United Kingdom. We took a qualitative case study approach and applied a conceptual framework developed in an earlier paper (Schlappa and Imani, 2013) to structure the collection and analysis of data. Our framework is based on relational leadership theory and draws on concepts of motivation, structure and power to examine the interactions between professional and citizen co-producers of services. The analysis revealed a number of novel insights into the co-production of preventative emergency services involving volunteers. In applying our findings to the analytical framework on different types of co-production (Brandsen and Honingh, 2015) we were able to show that the delivery of standard core services can evolve into the volunteer led design and delivery of bespoke complementary services. Our preliminary findings raise a number of theoretical and conceptual issues, including questions about the ambiguous role of volunteers as regular and citizen co-producers of services.