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Engagement of citizens and public professionals in the co-production of public services

The idea of citizens and public professionals collaborating to provide public services has widely spread in several countries around the globe. Co-production is often presented as the go-to solution for challenges like a legitimacy crisis of both the government and the market, and financial concerns. Yet, co-production also brings new challenges for the citizens, public professionals and public organizations involved. Why do citizens sometimes become disappointed with coproduction? Why do professionals at times feel constrained when interacting with citizens? Although co-production literature is booming, these issues still remain unsolved.

Carola van Eijk
11 October 2017
Leiden Repository

This dissertation contributes to our understanding of why individual citizens and public professionals engage in co-production, and what the role of mutual perceptions of this engagement is. The study is innovative in both its approach (focusing on the individuals involved instead of on the collaborative networks, processes, and organizations) and the research methods applied (proposing a mixed method research design in a research field dominated by single case studies and qualitative research methods). The book presents a variety of studies to empirically unravel citizens’ and professionals’ engagement in the co-production of public services. The cases include client councils in healthcare organizations, neighborhood watch schemes, and representative advisory councils at primary schools.


  • Trui P.S. Steen
  • RenĂ© Torenvlied
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