Knowledge building and learning in the public sector through co-creation and ‘withness-thinking’

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New Public Governance has emerged as a new paradigm in reaction to the disadvantageous consequences of New Public Management. A key element of this new paradigm is known as co-creation or co-production. In order to solve welfare tasks and so-called ‘wicked problems’, the intention is to facilitate collaboration between public, private and volunteer stakeholders and citizens. The central arguments in favor of this new paradigm are often that it leads to more democracy, a better welfare system, greater public value and more equality. However, there is still very little documented experience concerning what co-creation or co-production entails in practice, and what their implications are. This chapter offers insights into the practical aspects of co-creation, seen from an approach of ‘withness-thinking’, and connects the ideas of co-creation, process thinking and ‘withness-thinking’ with the essential ideas of action research in a specific case study in the Danish public sector.
Translated title of the contributionVidensproduktion og læring i den offentlige sektor gennem samskabelse og 'medheds-tænkning'
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcessual Perspectives on the Co-Production Turn in Public Sector Organizations
EditorsAnja Overgaard Thomassen, Julie Borup Jensen
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationHershey PA, USA
PublisherIGI global
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)1799849759
ISBN (Electronic)9781799849766
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesAdvances in Public Policy and Administration (APPA) Book Series


  • Co-Creation
  • co-production
  • Action Research
  • Organizational learning
  • Process thinking
  • Knowledge building
  • Participation
  • dialogue

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