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Article
Public services management and co-production in multi-level governance settings
International Review of Administrative Sciences (2016)
  • Mariafrancesca Sicilia, University of Bergamo
  • Enrico Guarini
  • Alessandro Sancino, The Open University
  • Martino Andreani, Free University Institute "Carlo Cattaneo"
  • Renato Ruffini, Free University Institute "Carlo Cattaneo"
Abstract
From a normative stance, co-production has been recommended at all stages of the public service cycle. However, previous empirical studies on co-production have neglected the question of how to make this happen. Moreover, little attention has been paid to how co-production might occur in multi-level governance settings. The
aim of this article is to fill these gaps, identifying triggers and organizational and managerial issues that could support the adoption of co-production in multi-level governance settings. The empirical analysis is based on a case study of services for autistic children.
The findings highlight that co-production was prompted by inter-organisational arrangements and that trust-building among the actors played a pivotal role in nurturing a coproduction approach.
From an organizational perspective, our case study shows that, in order to foster coproduction
in multi-level governance settings, all stages of the public service cycle should be aligned and inspired by the same logic.
From a managerial perspective it highlights that the implementation of co-production requires new managerial skills and tools. Public managers are asked to listen to community groups and individuals, to mobilize collective resources and knowledge, and exercise a meta-governance role.
Finally, in order to have co-produced services, our findings point to the need to start thinking differently about the roles of civil society and government in satisfying the common good.
Keywords
  • co-production,
  • inter-organisational collaboration,
  • multi-level governance,
  • public services management,
  • managerial skills
Publication Date
2016
DOI
10.1177/0020852314566008
Citation Information
Mariafrancesca Sicilia, Enrico Guarini, Alessandro Sancino, Martino Andreani, et al.. "Public services management and co-production in multi-level governance settings" International Review of Administrative Sciences Vol. 82 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 8 - 27
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/enrico_guarini/44/