Building a community for organising elderly well-being; An exploratory study concerning relational coordination within a Living Lab

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Background: As the Netherlands face challenges in organising elderly well-being, a Living Lab was established in which various stakeholders develop innovative solutions. However, such cross-organisational and institutional projects face challenges concerning coordination. Moreover, there is limited knowledge on the influence of relationships and related network on the viability of Living Labs. Consequently, in this exploratory study, the following research question is answered: How do actors involved in innovative approaches organising services for elderly well-being coordinate their work? Method: More specifically, this study was conducted within a Living Lab organised in Deventer. In this qualitative study, eleven semi-structured interviews and a focus group with seven representatives from the stakeholder groups involved in the project provided information on developing relationships and communication to coordinate work. Findings: The results show two themes when coordinating work in a living Lab concerning organising services for elderly well-being; (1) network building and (2) defining the role of neighbourhood concierges. Next to these main themes, two prerequisites arise concerning effectively coordinating work and built-up relations: (1) shared location and (2) development of consultation structures. Conclusion: The findings suggested that stakeholders are more likely to effectively communicate and built-up relations if there was a shared space for representatives of different roles. Furthermore, establishing shared meetings between stakeholder was seen as crucial to organise services for elderly well-being collaboratively. In addition to those two main conditions, cross-cutting structures as boundary-spanning activities, selecting for teamwork and shared training, and shared information systems did play a role when coordinating work in an emerging inter-organisational network setting. Discussion: This study provides Living Lab participants with insights into the challenges and prerequisites for relationships and communication when coordinating work. Besides, this study gave the Living Lab participants insights into their position in the whole work process. Finally, this study adds to RC literature by providing insights on RC development and the cross-cutting structures in emerging inter-organisational network settings.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen