Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

‘Good stories get lost in bureaucracy!’ Cultural biases and information for co-production

Baines, Sue ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3859-9448, Bull, Mike ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6386-6547, Antcliff, Val and Martin, Lynn (2021) ‘Good stories get lost in bureaucracy!’ Cultural biases and information for co-production. Public Money & Management. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0954-0962

[img] Accepted Version
File will be available on: 23 October 2022.

Download (502kB)


This paper is about evidencing the social value of co-produced public services. We use Mary Douglas's theory of cultural variation to frame conflicting assumptions about what kinds of information count as good and reliable. With its emphasis on active participation, equality and mutual decision-making, co-production fits what Douglas called an ‘egalitarian’ worldview. It aligns well with local, contextual, experiential forms of information such as storytelling. Yet in present-day public services, alternatives favour individual choice, hierarchical rules, or chance outcomes. It is comfortable but ineffective to share only information that meets the preferences of one worldview and fails to respond to others.

Impact and Reach


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item