Co-creation and co-production: An interdisciplinary conceptual exploration

  • Ella Paldam
Keywords: Co-creation, co-production, co-creation, hermeneutics, systems theory

Abstract

In recent years, the two concepts of co-creation and co-production have become key in project organization in the private and the public sectors in Denmark. Yet, the conceptual and practical implications of the two concepts remain unclear. Are they just a new tool that harnesses volunteerism to cut process costs? This paper uses the results from a systematic literature search to explore the interdisciplinary history of the two concepts. Co-production was coined in political economy to study infrastructure and societal redistribution of resources. Co-creation emerged in the literature on user-led innovation and product development. The two concepts are translated into one word in Danish, samskabelse. The literature search shows that the Danish concept of samskabelse was used in two specific research fields before the more recent surge of the concept began: in systems theoretical psychology and in anthropological research on indigenous peoples’ religions. From these four fields of origin, the paper suggests four basic assumptions in samskabelse: 1) Attention to resources is necessary to understand incentives, 2) shared creativity leads to innovation, 3) any collaboration is a system of relations, and 4) any collaboration is situated in the contexts of all the partners. In conclusion, the paper discusses how co-production and co-creation may be useful when partners from different sectors or disciplines wish to collaborate. 

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Published
2020-09-08
Section
Artikler