Service co-production and co-creation and civil society activism

Veress, József and Gábor, András (2018) Service co-production and co-creation and civil society activism. In: IIAS Study Group on ‘Coproduction of Public Services’, 2018.05.22-23, Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Unpublished)

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The participation in co-production and co-creation feeds back with the activism providing the civil society’s capability of generating and sustaining change, i.e. carry out social agency by promoting social resilience. Activism facilitates also co-production and co-creation by focusing on service quality and creation of ‘value in use’. It can affect such new trends in PAR as NPG and Communitarian regime by contributing to withstand austerity pressures pushing for efficiency and budgetary savings. The study discusses civil activism by analysing community clusters deploying hybrid approach combining structuration and organization theories. It enables to explore the interplay between (i) association-prone patterns of structuration and (ii) continuous self-organizing enabling to “organize without organization”, which creates the civil society’s dynamism. It (i) possesses transformational effect and character and (ii) facilitates life quality improvements. This is the outcome of the institutional shift to dual primacy of non-zero-sum approach and interdependence replacing the twin-dominance of zero-sum paradigm and resource scarcity view. Association-prone institutional settings which the volunteers’ self-communication enacts operate simultaneously as active organizing platforms and social capital re-generating trust and settling its radius. The enhanced autonomy which self-communication provides facilitates communicative interactions and their aggregation into sustained collaboration. It enables to bring about, maintain and enhance cooperation in competitive environments often with enabling technologies as Finnish cases demonstrate. Caring TV users co-produce innovative services for elderly, and the Lopukkiri community facilitates mutual care among members co-creating new model of elderly mutual self-care. The volunteers tend to minimize particular tasks. Such ‘modularity of contributions’ enables to enact and share due resources locally through parallel and distributed interactions - without centralization and redistribution through organizational hierarchies. It improves the effectiveness of collective resourcing and extends the resource base. Furthermore, asymmetric and asynchronous patterns of open-ended multi-party reciprocity allow unilateral contributions to collective efforts. The volunteers perceive and exercise power as shared and sharing, non-hierarchical and non-zero-sum what enables mutual empowerment. This constellation interplays with multi-dimensional feed backing alterations affecting value creation, work, competition, and also the nature and dialectics of cooperation. These changes have impact simultaneously on individuals, their interactions and commons. The transformational dynamism is source and also outcome of the civil society’s activism aiming to implement freedom, equality and fraternity (currently coined as solidarity). Historically this activism emerged together with the industrial society. Their interplay enabled to enact the potential provided by growing social productivity: to enforce new standards on declining worktime, redistribute value and wealth, and spend more time and resources on voluntary activities. These trends are constitutive and generative of the “long process” of the civil society’s self-(re-)creation and also its self-empowerment. The self-empowerment unfolds through mutual approximation with the market and public sectors - interplaying with (the resultant pattern of) digitalization. The civil activism can (i) promote liberating time and resources from wage work what digitization potentially enables. It also (ii) can facilitate to re-enact liberated human creativity through voluntary participation among others in co-creation and co-production of new services contributing to improved life quality. These services can facilitate to overcome and prevent also social and environmental tendencies constitutive of the emerging Anthropocene. The literature points out at a global participative revolution where voluntary activities often unfold through innovative ways. For example in frame of urban civic activism the voluntary cooperation takes place without creating and maintaining sustained organizations. The individuals can participate in multiple self-organizing actions, including diverse co-creation and co-production attempts aiming to provide solution for concrete problems. Whether voluntary contributions to initiate and design, deliver and assess public services can capitalize on and facilitate the self-empowerment of the civil society unfolding through its mutual approximation with public and market sectors - remains to be seen…

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Uncontrolled Keywords:civil activism, public services, cocreation, co-production
JEL classification:D73 - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
Subjects:Knowledge economy, innovation
Service management
ID Code:3847
Deposited By: J Veress
Deposited On:07 Jan 2019 16:21
Last Modified:07 Jan 2019 16:21

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