‘Co-production on the inside’ – public professionals negotiating interaction between municipal actors and local citizens

Annika Agger*, Anne Tortzen

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Existing research on co-production points to the fact that significant drivers and barriers to co-productive practices are to be found within public organizations themselves. Some scholars talk about a ‘glass-ceiling’ in co-production resulting from organizational practices (Pestoff, 2012; Tortzen, 2017b). Others point to the importance of the attitude of public officials and politicians towards citizen participation, a risk-averse administrative culture and clear incentives for co-producing (Voorberg, Bekkers, & Tummers, 2015). In this paper, we are interested in analyzing 'what happens when ambitions of co-production are translated into an organizational context’? More specifically, we focus on the 'practices'; 'mindsets' and 'organizational culture' enabling or inhibiting co-production. Drawing on a case-study of a Danish municipality consisting of 18 qualitative interviews with employees experienced in working with co-production, the paper contributes with an ‘insider’ perspective on co-production based on the ‘practice wisdom’ of public employees. The aim is to contribute to organizational learning by providing knowledge that may serve as a starting point for developing more ‘co-production friendly’ practices in public organizations.
TidsskriftLocal Government Studies
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)801-820
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2023


  • Front-line co-producers
  • facilitation
  • cross-pressures
  • co-production-friendly practices

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