CONSTRUCTING PUBLIC SERVICES – EUROPEAN APPROACH

Jari Stenvall, Ilpo Laitinen, Klaus af Ursin, Petri Virtanen, Jari Kaivo-oja

Abstract


Our research aim is to study how the new service-oriented approach is socially constructed in the practices of public services and which role identity formulation plays in the construction process. From the service science point of view, we present three different generations of service thinking. The differences between these generations lie in the nature of services and in the ways in which the service system should be developed, and what kind of learning processes each service reform contains. Third generation services are constantly developing interactive processes where learning is based on local knowledge and experiences. They follow the logic of open systems theory. Our second task is to present the conceptual framework for under-standing public services as knowledge creation processes. Our empirical task is to do a qualitative analysis based on a sample of interviews among social and health service managers and experts in four European cities (Barcelona, Den Bosch, Glasgow, Greater London area). The focus is in the importance of identity: how it develops in the service reform processes. The key results in qualitative analysis show that interviewees stress identity being one of the key elements developing in new process-like services where professional approach is integrated with knowledge of clients and communities. Street level bureaucrats´ open approach in connection with active role of service users results to unique solutions in service delivery. Shared identity developed in a reform process constitutes a key element in this kind of public services.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.eis.0.8.6954


Keywords


Construction; Public services; service integration; identity

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Print ISSN: 1822-8402
Online ISSN: 2335-8831