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Deadline: 31 March 2021

Public value for all?

Considering the parameters of public value co-creation

In this PMM theme we will be exploring the parameters of public value co-creation. The inclusion of service user voices in the development and improvement of public services in order to facilitate public value is now a key concern and co-production and co-creation represent common management approaches. The public value emergent from the interaction between the service user and the service provider is implicitly thought of as providing a positive outcome or experience and both parties tend to be conceptualized as benefiting from the interaction. Generally, as a process co-creation is thought to add public value by involving people in service delivery and design. In our recent PMM article, Expanding public value to include dis/value (Cluley et al., 2020), we critically explore the observation that co-creation and co-production are often used with the implicit understanding that they are valuable in themselves. It is this implicit understanding and acceptance that we seek to question in this theme.

In reality, some people may be denied access to public value creation processes, while others may be forced and/or unwilling to take part in it. Obvious examples include prisoners (those of whom want to avoid incarceration) and those who have been involuntarily sectioned under mental health legislation. Less obvious examples include those who are subject to institutional biases and those who do not conform to generally accepted social norms. In other words, the ‘value’ that emerges from public service exchanges will be different for different people. In these circumstances and many others, public value may not be the positive experience it is implicitly considered to be. Instead, the ‘value’ that emerges could be conceptualized as co-created dis/value, defined as unwanted co-creation or even, coerced co-creation (Cluley et al., 2020).

For this PMM theme, we welcome papers that offer a critical approach to the concept of public value and its creation process, building on the arguments made in Cluley et al. (2020). We are interested in alternative perspectives on value, both theoretical and empirical. We would like to hear about examples of public service experience that do not conform to typical co-creation processes and include those who could be considered to be diverse, hard to reach, and/or vulnerable service users.


Victoria Cluley, Steven Parker & Zoe Radnor (2020) New development: Expanding public service value to include dis/value, Public Money & Management, DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2020.1737392

Submission Guidelines

As well as research papers (8000 words maximum, including references), the theme will include up to three debate articles (1000 words maximum) and up to two new development articles (2500 words maximum). Debate and new development articles will be reviewed by the guest editors and research papers will be double refereed.

The deadline for submissions of all article types is 31 March 2021. Submissions of original papers must be made to the PMM ScholarOne submission site below. Please mark your submission as being for the Public value for all? ‘special’ issue. Submission of new developments and debate pieces should be made direct to [email protected] for editorial review.

Instructions for Authors Submit an Article

Special Issue Editor(s)

Victoria CluleyCass Business School, City, University of London, UK

[email protected]

Steven ParkerLeicester Castle Business School, De Monfort University, UK
[email protected]

Zoe RadnorCass Business School, City, University of London, UK
[email protected]

Public Money & Management

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Managing Editor

Michaela Lavender 

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