Based on eight case studies collected across seven European countries in the areas of social welfare, care for the elderly and health the Public Deliverable D1.2 “Research report on case studies” by Kirsty Strokosch (University of Edinburg) explores the concept of value, how it is created (or destroyed) during public service design and delivery and who is involved in the processes of value creation.
The analysis shows that value is a subjective term with multiple dimensions. However, across the cases, there was greater emphasis on value to individual service users and social value, as opposed to value for the organisation.
The dimensions of value were created to varying degrees by:
Public Services Staff
The role of frontline service staff in managing the service relationship to create value for individuals was emphasised across the data. Service users themselves were also described as playing a fundamental role in the value creation processes. In particular, their personal experience of services could be shared for the purposes of service improvement.
The analysis further suggests that value is created throughout the service cycle and specifically during three points:
Accessing the service
The service relationship
Another key finding was the importance of organisational culture in shaping the extent to which service users are valued as contributors, which has related implications for the extent to which they are involved.
An interesting discovery that emerged from the cases was that value in its various dimensions can also be destroyed at any point in the service cycle by any actor. The analysis suggests that value destruction is prevalent at two points: during service design, and particularly when service processes and procedures are not structured effectively to support value creation, and during the service interactions that are influenced both by the effectiveness of the service processes and the calibre of frontline staff.
This research suggests implications for both research and practice. In terms of research, further investigation around the role of the service user in value creation is required, with emphasis on the service experience and how the expertise of the service user may be drawn on to create value. In addition, this work suggests that value to individual service users, organisations and society are linked, but this requires further exploration, particularly around where the dimensions of value are in conflict. In relation to practice, the research suggests that organisational cultures, processes and approach and calibre of staff must reflect and enforce value creation.
Read the whole report here