Co-production, co-creation, and citizen empowerment

Suyeon Jo, Tina Nabatchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

17 Scopus citations


Advocates claim that in comparison to traditional models of service delivery, co-production can have many benefits for citizens (e.g., Levine and Fisher, 1984; Needham, 2008). This chapter explores those claims, and focuses specifically on the potential empowerment effects of co-production for citizens. The basic argument is that when citizens play proactive roles through co-production, services become more closely aligned with their interests and needs (Whitaker, 1980; Brudney and England, 1983; Levine and Fisher, 1984; Pestoff, 2006; Thomas, 2013), which leads to greater satisfaction with services (Pestoff, 2006; Voorberg, Bekkers and Tummers, 2015). Moreover, the process of exercising voice, control, and influence (which is generally absent in traditional service delivery) generates a sense of empowerment among citizens (Needham, 2008). To unpack this argument, we begin with a brief discussion about co-production and its application at the individual, group, and collective levels. We then introduce a theory of empowerment and draw connections to each level of co-production. Finally, we review the literature, concentrating on empirical studies that examine empowerment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCo-Production and Co-Creation
Subtitle of host publicationEngaging Citizens in Public Services
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781351792578
ISBN (Print)9781138700116
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences


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