Exploring value creation processes in publicly funded services: lnsights from inclusive arts programmes in Scotland
Escárate Sánchez, Pablo
This thesis expands the understanding of the processes underpinning the creation and destruction of value in public service organisations. It does so by integrating insights from service management literature and public management literature into the context of art programmes offered by charitable organisations to people with additional support needs. The concept of value and the processes underpinning its creation have been recurrently debated in the public management literature. The understanding of this concept has been evolving from organisational-centred approaches to user-centred ones. The latter ones, originally developed within the service management literature, conceive value as a context-dependent construct that emerges when service users interact with service providers (Brandsen, Steen and Verschuere, 2018). Accordingly, value creation processes have been conceptualised as co-created and led by service users who are conceived as the key determinants of the value of a service offering. However, the theoretical development of these approaches is still on its infancy in the public management literature, and more empirical research is needed in order to understand how these processes operate in the context of public service offerings. This study addresses this research call by examining this phenomenon through the lens of the Public Service Logic (Osborne, 2018) and the Service Ecosystems perspective (Frow and Payne, 2019). It does so by adopting a qualitative multiple-case study research design and an abductive approach to gain a better understanding regarding the stakeholders benefiting from the value created by public service organisations and their role in the facilitation, creation and destruction of such value. This thesis contributes to theory by providing an empirical illustration of the multiple dimensions, beneficiaries, and levels of value creation within public services. The findings of this study extend current understandings present in the literature by arguing that public service organisations should facilitate the creation of value for their end-users while at the same time enable the emergence of individual and collective benefits for other stakeholders engaged in the offering. By doing so, this study expands the current understanding of the roles and activities performed by multiple actors in the facilitation, co-creation and co-destruction of value. Overall, it concludes that a sole focus on dyadic interactions between service users and providers offers a limited account of the processes and outcomes of value creation within public services. Data for this study was gathered through personal interviews, self-completion questionnaires, and observation of service encounters in four Scottish charitable arts organisations. The empirical setting of this research also contributes to research and practice. This is one of the first studies to empirically integrate the Public Service Logic and the Service Ecosystem lens and is the first to do so in the context of inclusive arts programmes. Therefore, the study advances the articulation of the principles of the Public Service Logic by providing a better understanding of value creation processes in settings involving service-users facing barriers to actively engage in value creation and co-creation activities during service encounters.