Embarking on the social innovation journey: A systematic review regarding the potential of co-creation with citizens

William Voorberg, Victor Bekkers, LG Tummers

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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Innovation and especially social innovation is a ‘magic concept’ that during the last years has been embraced as a promising reform strategy for the public sector. It is argued that it is important for social innovation that it is being co-created with citizens. However, to date there are no overviews on co-creation during innovation, which systematically analyze the literature concerning the forms, antecedents and effects of co-creation. This paper therefore conducted a systematic review to retrieve studies on co-creation. It also included related literature on co-production. 49 peer-reviewed articles in the period from 1987-2013 were included. In general, most studies employ a qualitative case study approach. Quantitative studies are scare. Most studies have been conducted in the healthcare or education sector. The review further reveals that in the level of citizen involvement is often rather low; citizens are only acting as co-implementer, not designers or initiators. Considering the factors influencing co-creation, we found that an administrative culture of fear and risk-aversion and not accepting citizens as partners are strong barriers. While factors influencing co-creation where often studied, there seems to be much less research on the outcomes or objectives of co-creation. Co-creation is often also seen as a value in itself. We conclude by summarizing the results and providing a future research agenda for thoroughly studying co-creation during public innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPrague
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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