P38 SIG Design-led approaches to renewing public management and governance

Panel Chairs:
Dr. William Voorberg, Prof. dr. Jenny M Lewis, Prof. dr. Albert Meijer, Dr. Daniela Sangiorgi, Dr. Christian Bason and Dr. Mateusz Lewandowski

Corresponding Chair:
William Voorberg,  voorberg@essb.eur.nl

Recent complex problems of the last decade have prompted the public sector to look for new ways of governing, and developing and delivering public services. Hence, design has been heralded as a central concept because of its people-centeredness that in a co-productive or co-creative way bridges the gap between public policies, services and citizens’ needs and expectations, and environmental challenges (Thorpe & Gamman, 2016; Thomas & Grace, 2008; Junginger, 2014; Mulgan, 2014, Sangiorgi, 2015). Although the notion of public administration as a design science is certainly not new (Simon, 1971; Miller, 1984; Shangraw & Crow, 1997; Meyer, 2005), there is much that we do not know about the application of design thinking to public policy, governance, management and services. Further, the contribution of design as a co-production strategy within public sector contexts needs further debate (Bason 2010, 2017).

Hence, this panel is dedicated to explore the principles, methodological underpinnings, challenges and practices of applying design-oriented approaches to the field of public policy and governance. The panel seeks to explore how design-led approaches contribute to realising ambitions around the co-creation and co-production of public services. Concretely, this panel aims to:

  • Enhance the methodological rigor and relevance of design methodologies in public management and policy environments;
  • Offer theoretical and empirical explorations of the conditions that support the effective application and integration of collaborative design-led approaches within public sector and government;
  • Explore and evaluate the value and impact of labs and design-led approaches to value creation in public service delivery and policy making (health care, culture, education, social interventions, transportation, safety etc.);
  • Identify and discuss limitations and routes for improvement of design-led approaches for the innovation of public service provision and wider institutional change.

This panel welcomes both conceptual and empirical papers. Also, we might expect theoretical papers that lay the foundations or the theoretical frames for better integration, relevance and value of design-led approaches for public administration and public management. Finally, besides traditional paper presentations, we welcome contributors who wish to demonstrate a working prototype illustrating how this was developed and tested.