Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

The key stakeholders include the Scottish Government, policymakers, stakeholder organizations, and frontline staff of the social security system under the Department for Work and Pensions. The key beneficiaries include the service users of the social security system, organizations and wider society.

Co-creation process

Two key points of value co-creation have been identified in this case study. The first point is service design, where ‘experience panels’ are established to draw on service users’ experiences of the current social security system. At the same point, Stakeholder Reference Groups have also been organized for local authorities, third sector organizations and, to some extent, for-profit organizations to share knowledge about social security. These processes have engaged stakeholder organizations in providing an important perspective and knowledge to shape service improvement while connecting service users who have lived experience of the services. The second point is service delivery, where the service users access appropriate services and interact with frontline service staff knowledgeable and capable of supporting the service users. Positive relationships developed from the interaction are regarded as contributing to value creation. The service users’ families and friends are also seen as facilitating value creation by helping service users with complex procedures to claim benefits.  

Digital Transformation Process

The digital transformation process was not examined in this case.  

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

The main impacts are twofold. First, at the service design stage, the involvement of individuals who have directly experienced services has greatly contributed to service reform. A lived experience-based approach has been described as outweighing any value that could be created by professionally designing the service. Second, at the service delivery stage, service interactions between the frontline service staff and the service users influence the service users’ service experience and thus shape their perceptions of value. A trusted relationship developed between the service users and the frontline service staff would contributed to the effectiveness of the service and ultimately facilitate value creation for the service.  

Challenges & Bottlenecks

Four challenges have been identified for the service design stage. First, the involvement of public service users in the experience-led/based service design has raised concern over excluding stakeholder groups. Second, there are incongruent perspectives of value and goals. Third, there has been concern over whether strong political leadership is in place to effectively manage and preservice the involvement of service users. Finally, the legacy of the UK social security system has been found constraining the value creation process. At the service delivery stage, constraints on value creation and co-creation are mainly reflected on barriers to service interactions, including the inaccessibility of services, a lack of support for vulnerable service users’ interactions with frontline staff, a lack of knowledge, expertise and a caring approach among frontline staff, a lack of continuity in service provision, and the stigmatizing, inhumane and adversarial culture in the current system.

Transferability & Replicability

The experience of developing the new Social Security Agency in Scotland may be transferred and replicated in other public service settings.

Success Factors

During the service design stage, a progressive approach, such as capacity building sessions, has facilitated and encouraged vulnerable service users to share their knowledge and ‘unique perspective’ on service experience to make novel service solutions to having the opportunity for value co-creation. During the service delivery stage the frontline staff’s knowledge and capacity to support service users are perceived as critical to the process of value co-creation by making the application for social benefits easier and developing positive service relationships with service users and frontline staff.  

Lessons learned

Three practical lessons have been learnt from this case study. First, the frontline service staff play an indispensable role in co-creating value during service interactions. They need to manage the service relationship and possess the necessary soft skills to engage with and understand service users’ narratives to co-create value. Hence, appropriate staff training is emphasized. Second, service processes need to be accessible and support value creation for individual service users. Third, the organizational culture translated through both the approach of frontline staff and the supporting service processes has implications for the extent to which service users view themselves and public service staff view service users as capable of contributing to value creation processes. Thus, the organizational culture was important in supporting value creation.