Co-innovation in public services: Planning or experimenting with users?

Katri Kallio, Inka Lappalainen, Karo Tammela

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Renewing public services is topical due to growing service needs and financial challenges in the public sector. Recent studies suggest that user-driven approaches could be an important success factor for creating service innovations. However, empirical studies of the processes have remained rare. Previously, stage-gate models of innovations-with in-depth, thorough, in-house planning-seemed to be dominant, but also rapid and open models have emerged. We address the research gap by studying: for what kinds of innovation targets are each of the two processes, planning-oriented (stage-gate) and rapid experimenting suitable, and how do they encourage radical innovations? We conducted a qualitative case study by comparing four pioneering renewal cases from two Finnish cities. All four included citizens, defined here as users, and several other stakeholders. Cases were selected as illustrative extracts of the different types of innovation approaches and processes. One city applied a more traditional planning-oriented (stage-gate) process organized by the municipality, and the other city applied rapid experimenting designed more freely by the users. They sought new solutions to the topical problem of youth unemployment, and to foster dialog between generations. Our study contributes to further development of user-driven and collaborative aspects in innovation models in the public sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages16
    JournalThe Innovation Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Co-innovation
    • public sector
    • service innovation
    • user-driven innovation


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