User involvement in social work innovation: A systematic and narrative review

Maja Müller, Signe Pihl-Thingvad

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Summary: This article focuses on user involvement in social work innovations in the public sector and provides an overview of how public innovation via user involvement in social work has been studied to date. Through analyses based on a systematic review combined with a narrative review of the identified literature, we offer a typology of social work innovations. The article concludes by discussing possibilities and barriers inherent in user involvement in social work and suggesting topics for future research. Findings: Through a systematic review we identify the relevant literature describing different kinds of user involvement in social work innovation. In the narrative review, we analyze the literature and identify three types of innovation: user-centered innovation, co-produced innovation, and citizen-driven innovation. With empirical examples we illustrate the different types of innovation and the citizen’s role in the different innovation processes. Application: The typology provides an analytic tool to differentiate types of innovation and user involvement, but it may also function as inspiration to practitioners to reflect more about the roles of users and frontline workers and to be more aware of existing barriers when designing new social initiatives in the public sector.

TidsskriftJournal of Social Work
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)730-750
StatusUdgivet - 1. nov. 2020


  • User involvement
  • co-creation
  • social innovation


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