By Charlotte Tybjerg Sørensen, Communications Officer
Caitlin McMullin has developed a novel framework for analyzing the practices of co-production between citizens and professionals in the non-profit sector. Analysing organizations in three contexts: Sheffield, England; Lyon, France; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the book examines the international differences between non-profits, evidenced by the way that they variously blend or assimilate the logics of the market, state and community, and how this shapes the motivations for and approaches to co-production at the micro level in each context.
Co-production is a key to improving welfare services – to help solve some of society’s biggest problems. Involving citizens in delivering services can help stretch public finances, improve democratic accountability and hopefully create more value for the public
~ Caitlin McMullin, associate professor
My research represents a major step forward in comparative non-profit studies and the co-production of public services, speaking directly to contemporary debates around the nature of organizational hybridity, public service innovation and approaches to service user involvement, Caitlin McMullin says.
This book has endeavoured to bridge these streams of research to better explain whether, why, and how co-production is done in different contexts, so that we may be more sensitive to the opportunities and constraints that are present in different locations.
Co-production has been a research focus for many years for Caitlin McMullin, who has a deep engagement in the topic.
Co-production is a key to improving welfare services – to help solve some of society’s biggest problems. Involving citizens in delivering services can help stretch public finances, improve democratic accountability and hopefully create more value for the public, she states.
The hope for Caitlin McMullin is that the study opens possibilities for more comparative research on co-production.
The institutional logics approach provides a new and important framework to study non-profit practices in any context, allowing us to understand the nuanced impacts of the state, market, and community on organizations’ ways of working, their constraints, and drivers, Caitlin McMullin emphasizes.
The Book Launch of Non-profit Organizations and Co-production: The Logics Shaping Professional and Citizen Collaboration is taking place 12 January 2023 at AAU, Campus Aalborg, where the author will present the book and host a discussion with Sanna Tuurnas, Associate Professor of Public Management at the University of Vaasa (Finland).
I’m looking forward to presenting my research and discussing it with Sanna Tuurnas and the participants in the event, says Caitlin McMullin.
On Co-production – from the book:
Co-production is a complex and sometimes messy practice – any time multiple groups are brought together to collaborate, there is the possibility of misunderstandings, mismatched goals, and most importantly, the risk of failure.
When non-profit professionals and citizens co-produce services, we see further complications arise as professionals balance competing logics that shape how they interact with citizens. Staff may face pressures to be community-rooted yet business savvy, give fair and equal treatment yet respond to unique needs in different communities, or focus on fighting for social change while maintaining core service provision.
These competing demands – logics – vary considerably between non-profit organizations operating in different places, sectors, and time periods. A comparative research approach allows us to better understand co-production in context.