Prerequisites for managing service co-innovation in public-private-citizen networks

Inka Lappalainen, Katri Kallio

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    Public services face complex challenges in Western economies. From an open innovation perspective, two paradigm shifts are in progress, the first related to political decision-making and the second having to do with user-orientation in municipal service development [e.g., 1, 2]. Economic and demographic environments are undergoing dramatic changes, resulting in challenges to current structures of public services' production and development. Trends such as new public management and public-private partnerships have opened new opportunities for co-operation between municipalities and local companies. Equally, citizens are showing growing interest in societal issues and willingness to take active part in decisions related to their day-to-day life as enabled by digitalisation and social media. The traditional roles of public service development are changing. However, municipal and private organisations find it challenging to understand the profound changes needed in their core tasks and collaboration in emerging public-private-citizen networks. We have studied Finnish municipal organisations that are seeking novel and user-driven ways to create, produce, and manage services [3, 4, 5]. Recent innovation literature uses the concept of social innovation to refer to collaborative innovation processes addressing complex economic and social problems. Social innovations can be created at three, interlinked levels: grassroots level, among individual citizens; intra- or inter-organisational level among private, public, and third sector organisations; and the societal and policy level, in the form of radical systemic changes [6]. Thus, new, manifold, and changing needs in the management and facilitation of innovation processes are emerging. The question then arises of how to manage the municipal service co-innovation in public-private-citizen networks in practice. The aim of this article is to structure the phenomena of managing co-innovation at grassroots and inter-organisation levels by summarising critical prerequisites for a public-private-citizen network. The work presented here is derived from case studies (2009-2012) involving a municipal organisation interested in more user-driven co-innovation of its services [3, 4, 5]. The co-innovation model was created in the concrete setting of co-designing the meeting place at a city's market square, then applied and further developed in a more conceptual setting in renewal of youth workshops and associated collaboration with local companies. Representatives of a municipal organisation, citizens, and local companies participated in the development work. A KIBS (knowledge intensive business services) company facilitated the co-innovation process, wherein representatives from VTT and the University of Lapland were involved as participatory action researchers [7].
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHighlights in service research
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7969-3
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7968-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Highlights


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