Transforming the public sector into an arena for co-creation: Barriers, drivers, benefits and ways forward

Jacob Torfing, Eva Sørensen, Asbjørn Røiseland

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article explores whether co-creation offers a viable path for the public sector. After an initial account of the transformation of the public sector from a legal authority and a service provider to an arena of co-creation, it defines co-creation and provides some empirical examples. This is followed by a discussion of the risks and benefits of co-creation as well as the drivers and barriers that may stimulate or hamper its expansion. The article also reflects on how institutional design, public leadership, and systemic change can advance co-creation. The conclusion summarizes the findings by setting out some researchable propositions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdministration & Society
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)795-825
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Co-creation
  • public sector reform
  • leadership

Cite this