Governance Modes, Mayoral Leadership and transitions to public sector co-creation across Europe

Brittney Regal*, Ewan Ferlie, Peter Aagaard, Sanja Vrbek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing interest in ‘co-creation’ raises an intriguing question about the role that political leaders can play. This role may have changed as wider models of public governance have evolved from Traditional Public Administration and New Public Management to more collaborative and networked approaches. With growing recognition that local solutions to complex public policy problems are needed, the role of mayors as important political leaders has come into sharp focus, yet few have considered how governance context influences political leadership of co-creation. Drawing on strands of theory on public governance and leadership, we specify how extant governance models can influence political leaders’ attempts to inspire co-creation. We illustrate these proposals by showing how mayors performed leadership to inspire co-creation in two contrasting cases drawn from Roskilde, Denmark, and Ljubljana, Slovenia. We demonstrate, counterintuitively, that an embedded form of TPA that coincided with a hierarchical approach to leadership better supported the adoption of co-creation. Thus, we propose that mayors may resourcefully adapt co-creation to local contexts. Political leaders may find these conclusions insightful for understanding how governance context may impact their co-creation efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jan 2024

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