Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

This case study looks at a for-profit housing and care provider for older people and people with disabilities in Scotland. The organisation provides care at home, housing support, care homes and responder-type services in ten local authorities in Scotland. This organisation is skilled in providing services through the support of digital systems, such as the emergency alarm system that aims to customise services for individuals and to give users more control over the service.

Co-creation process

Three key points of value co-creation have been identified in this case study. First, at the stage of service design, the service users co-create value through joining the Tenants’ Group, using the complaints procedure, attending the organization’s AGM and filling in survey questionnaires. The service users are also involved in the development of the digital system to offer opinions on the look, feel and functionality of the system. Service users are also involved in the staff recruitment. Second, at the operational planning, value co-creation process is recognized during the collection of information about service users, where the role of service managers is highlighted. The care package is developed with individual service users, who thus participate in operational planning and co-create value for the service. Third, at the stage of service delivery, the service users play a pivotal role in creating value through their day-to-day involvement in service interactions. The service users and frontline staff build a service relationship through service interactions, which facilitates the service users to create value. Moreover, supporting processes and technology are recognized as an important interface to facilitate value creation, by enriching the experience of service users, increasing their social contact with family and friends, and helping staff to better understand user needs and to handle emergencies more effectively.

Digital Transformation Process

We have not looked at the digital transformation. However, technology and digital systems were mentioned as facilitating the effective provision of services in this case study.

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

The outcomes and impacts are identified in two aspects. First, the service users’ involvement in service interactions and operational planning has contributed to the service improvement at the micro level and thus has impacted the value that individual service users receive from the housing and care services. Second, the frontline service staff have learned through service interactions with service users, which enables the service staff to perform their job more effectively and thus impacting their capacity to facilitate value creation and co-creation.

Challenges & Bottlenecks

There are some challenges related to the stages of service design and service delivery. At the service design stage, the service users are less likely to be involved in the design of service while various respondents have attributed the low involvement to the service users’ apathy to involvement outside service interactions. Three main challenges are identified at the service delivery stages. First, ‘too much care’ and a disparity in care offered by different frontline staff could result in service users’ unrealistic expectations of service and therefore, value destruction. Second, a lack of continuity in care to foster relationship building; personality clashes; a lack of resources; and a lack of knowledgeable or appropriately trained staff are seen as four ways to hurdle fostering service relationships and thus, pose challenges for value creation.

Transferability & Replicability

The case study organisation is a Scotland based organization, but its idea may be applicable to other contexts. However, this case study has not explored this aspect.

Success Factors

One central success factor identified in this case study is that knowledgeable, skilled staff who take a caring approach are important to value co-creation. For human-centred services in particular, this supported the development of the service relationship and trust.

Lessons learned

Four practical lessons have been learnt from this case study. First, frontline service staff play an indispensable role in co-creating value during service interactions. It was necessary, therefore, that staff were appropriately trained and knowledgeable. They needed the appropriate soft skills to manage the service relationship and engage with and understand service users’ narratives to co-create value. Second, services need to be accessible to service users and support the co-creation of value. Third, the organizational culture enabled or constrained value co-creation for service users. Culture had 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. Finally, qualitative performance management tools should be developed to capture the multi-dimensional, subjective nature of value.