Bringing Empathy in Service Network
Authors: Jung-Joo Lee, Tuuli Mattelmäki, Jaana Hyvärinen
Abstract: In this paper we present recent cases where human-centered designers apply empathic design approaches for public service development. The public service development nowadays involves a complex network in which multiple organizations from different sector need to collaborate in order to provide more holistic and effective solutions for citizens. Collaboration in this complex network, however, is yet very challenging. In this paper, we explore the mindset and tools of empathic design as a potential approach to overcome this challenge. Based on two pilot projects carried out with a large municipality in Finland, we shed light on opportunities of empathic design in three aspects: firstly, in helping service developers see a holistic picture of the complex service structure and at the same time view it from individual actors’ perspectives; secondly, in engaging various actors in face-to-face dialogues and achieving a mutual understanding; lastly, in envisioning new ways of working in organizations through the small-scale experiments. These findings indicate new roles of empathic design for creating collaborative relationships in service networks. Discussions in this paper also include challenges of doing empathic design in public organizations.
Keywords: Service Design, Public Service, Service Network, Empathic Design, Organizational Change
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