Since the introduction of “new public management” in the 1980s, public officials have looked for solutions to increase citizen participation in services planning and provision. Despite recent advancements in co‐production and value‐creation literature, the public sector is still lagging behind. A few studies have recently tried to investigate factors leading to public officials' resistance to adopting these new practices and tools, but they only analyze structural and objective antecedents. This has led to unconvincing results. The purpose of this paper is to broaden the perspective by adopting public officials' point of view, developing a scale for the construct “citizen orientation” and investigating its explanatory power.
A mail survey is conducted among a sample of Italian town mayors. Factor analysis and regressions are used, respectively, to develop the scale for citizen orientation and to test the hypotheses.
Results support the hypothesis, showing that public officials' citizen orientation is a significant antecedent of the intention to increase the level of co‐production.
Results could have been influenced by the degree of new public management development within the specific research setting. Further studies with larger samples are needed to strongly corroborate findings.
Findings imply that a cultural change is needed among public officials in order for public organizations to become facilitators of value co‐production processes.
This paper develops a scale for citizen orientation as an adaptation of the customer orientation construct to explain public officials' attitude toward co‐production within local government. This perspective complements the more common approaches based only on objective antecedents.
Cassia, F. and Magno, F. (2009), "Public services co‐production: exploring the role of citizen orientation", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 334-343. https://doi.org/10.1108/17566690911004249Download as .RIS
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