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Democracy and design in Swedish personal assistance.

Conference paper
Authors Magnus Roos
Published in Service Design and Innovation Conference
ISBN 978-91-7685-738-0
ISSN 1650-3686
Publisher Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
Publication year 2016
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords service provider, personal assistance, people with disability, personally designed support
Subject categories Psychology


The present study investigated the role of personal assistance service providers for people with disabilities from the users’ point of view. Interviews with 12 users resulted in five value categories: (1) Interact with the user in a service-minded way (2) Have a proper ideology of personal assistance, (3) Mediate between users and personal assistants, (4) Provide good work conditions for personal assistants and (5) Represent the user politically. This study illustrates that classical theoretical models of customer service might be less suitable to explain the role of service providers for Swedish users of personal assistance. In order to provide successful service and support, service providers might need to consider interactions beyond the provider and the end-users, and also include issues such as political lobbying, working conditions for social workers and sustainability in terms of guaranteeing the service in the future. The findings are discussed in relation to service management theories and the service design society.

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