Cross-Sector Collaboration for Public Value Co-Creation: A Critical Analysis

Sancino, Alessandro; Rees, James and Schindele, Irene (2018). Cross-Sector Collaboration for Public Value Co-Creation: A Critical Analysis. In: Stout, Margaret ed. From Austerity to Abundance?: Creative Approaches to Coordinating the Common Good. Critical Perspectives on International Public Sector Management, 6. Emerald, pp. 59–73.



This book chapter uses structuration theory and aims to study cross-sectoral collaborations for co-creating public value and their implications in terms of the role and the relationships of the public sector with the private and third sector.

Our research is exploratory and our main research question is: What are the modalities of structuration of cross-sectoral collaborations for co-creating public value? Our analysis is based on a multiple case study analyses conducted in the region of Trentino – South Tyrol (Italy), and it draws on primary and secondary data collected through six extensive semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis on about fifty organizations participating in six cross-sectoral collaborations. We found that the co-creation of public value led public organizations to structure cross-sectoral collaborations involving private and third-sector organizations, but preexistent structures of signification, domination, and legitimation hampered the public sector as a whole to fully democratically meta-govern the modalities of structuration.

The chapter provides insights for practice by highlighting the elements of structuration theory as a useful framework of analysis for decision-making of public managers involved in cross-sectoral collaborations. Research implications deal with using structuration theory and critical approaches at a macrolevel (e.g., the role of the public sector as a whole) within public management studies.

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