Debate: Public Service Motivation, Citizens and Leadership Roles

Steve Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article considers the relationship between public service motivation (PSM) and co-production. It asks why some members of the public choose to take on extra responsibilities in citizen-led boards over and above attending as a participant. Although the discussion has a wider interest in citizens working in partnership with public services, the focus is on PSM and its application to the antecedents of leadership roles in parent-led boards. The idea emerged from a conversation with members of a forum for parents of disabled children in the UK, who were meeting on a monthly basis. These meetings supported parents to articulate how the needs of disabled children could be met in their locality. The forums were managed by parents, with professionals invited to attend and contribute, as well as to present on changes to policy and practice in local services and invite comments, or fuller co-production, from parents. The meetings were managed by elected committees, usually a small group of parents. They set the agenda, managed finances (a small grant from central government) and attended management meetings in local organizations, including the local authority, to represent parents’ views. In discussion with several committee members, it became apparent that before being full-time carers for their children they had been employed as professionals where they obtained skills providing skills and confidence to take on a leadership role. This raised the question of why, in terms of PSM and citizen participation, some participants then chose to become committee members and leaders of forums.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-332
Number of pages3
JournalPublic Money & Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015


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