Social value creation through community engagement in public service delivery: A qualitative comparison of UK and Vietnamese contexts

  • Oanh Tu Cao

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The transformation of the welfare state and public service delivery in the UK towards marketisation and managerialism resulted from the perceived inefficiency of state-led public services and an increased welfare burden (Osbourne ad Gaebler, 1992). However, it is also argued that the values created by the market and the state are in conflict, since the goal of the private sector is to create private (economic) value whilst that of government agencies is to create public (social) value (Moore and Khagram, 2004). This leads to an increased focus on the involvement of the third sector which, it is argued, has the social goals and social legitimacy to understand local needs (Williams, 2003; Di Domenico et al., 2009a). This research project consisted of an in-depth study on social value creation through community engagement in public service delivery in the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The research explored how social value could be created through community engagement, and the contextual factors which could affect community engagement in public service delivery.

This research applied grounded theory methods (GTM) using a case study approach in order to build a model of social value creation through community engagement, within a multi-geographical context (Vietnam and the UK). The research focused on four comparable cases in both countries, which are community-based and third sector organisations in the field of community libraries and the domestic violence support services. In each case study, the qualitative methods used were semi-structured interviews conducted with service providers and policymakers, as well as focus groups held with service users. This research constitutes an original contribution to the evidence base by developing a framework for community engagement in public service delivery on a multi-geographical scale.
Date of AwardOct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorRichard Hazenberg (Supervisor) & Simon Denny (Supervisor)


  • Social value
  • Social value creation
  • Community engagement
  • Public service delivery

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