The why and how of co-production between professionals and volunteers: a qualitative study of community-based healthcare in Denmark

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Purpose The present paper describes the interplay between the "why" and "how" in co-production based on a case study of community-based healthcare in Denmark involving municipalities and voluntary sports clubs. So far, policy practice and research have focussed on the "why" - the rationales and pre-requisites - of co-production. However, there seems to be a lack of knowledge about the "how" of co-production in the interplay between professionals and volunteers. The paper asks how co-production is being perceived and practised according to existing norms and objectives of public healthcare and civil society, drawing on the theory of institutional logics. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses a critical case study approach to examine the practice of co-production. The analysis builds on qualitative data from nine semi-structured interviews, two information interviews and project documents. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded. Findings This paper demonstrates that compatibility of institutional logics was not given, nor did the co-existence of potentially competing logics necessarily result in conflict in co-production. Instead, in this case study co-production emerged as highly contingent, reflecting the dynamic interaction between logics and context-specific management. Originality/value This paper makes an original contribution to the conceptual understanding of co-production in emphasising the benefit of paying attention to the network logic when building bridges between public healthcare and civil society - and to unite the seemingly contradictory "why" and "how" of co-production in practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Number of pages17
ISSN0144-333X
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2022

    Research areas

  • Case study, Co-production, Civil society logic, Community-based health services, Public service logic, INSTITUTIONAL LOGICS, ORGANIZATIONS, COLLABORATION, SERVICES, USER

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