Codesigning as a discursive practice in emergency health services: The architecture of deliberation

Rick Iedema, Eamon Merrick, Donella Piper, Kate Britton, Jane Gray, Raj Verma, Nicole Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


This article addresses the issue of how government agencies are increasingly attempting to involve users in the design of public services. The article examines codesign as a method for fostering new and purposeful interaction among service-delivery staff and their customers. Codesign brings together stakeholders who, in the past, have had limited input into the way public services are experienced. By participating in this emerging discourse practice, codesign stakeholders can construct new ways of relating and deliberating. The data presented in this article are drawn from a codesign study initiated by the New South Wales Department of Health in an effort to improve the experience of staff, patients, and caregivers. The article concludes that codesign presents service consumers, professionals, and government officials with new opportunities as well as new challenges. Its opportunities reside in codesign bringing stakeholders together across previously impervious boundaries, producing new understandings, relationships, and engagements. Its challenges reside in these new understandings, relationships, and engagements only becoming possible and only continuing to be relevant if and when stakeholders are prepared to adopt and adapt to the new discourse needed to realize them, implicating them in what has been referred to as the "design competency spiral."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-91
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


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