Abstract | Abstract
Co-creation of public services calls for new leadership actions putting a strong demand on leaders in traditional bureaucratic organizations. This study explores critical leadership actions enabling co-creation in cross-institutional partnerships. The study is based on data from a co-creation project in a cross-institutional university-school partnership. The project leader and the innovation leader have key roles in the partnership’s infrastructure. Using complexity leadership theory as a theoretical lens, the paper examines how the leaders developed an inter-institutional network enabling 14 collaborative R&D projects between researchers and teachers. The study suggests that formal and informal leadership actions aimed at creating cross-institutional managerial commitment, supporting emerging semi-structured planning, developing a broad targeted information strategy, and connecting people across institutions are vital for enabling co-creation in cross-institutional partnerships.