Responsibilization, or the shift in functions and risks from providers and producers to the consumer, has become an increasingly common policy in service systems and marketplaces (e.g., financial, health, governmental). Responsibilization is often presented as synonymous with consumer agency and well-being. We take a transformative service research perspective and utilize the resource integration framework to investigate whether responsibilization is truly associated with well-being. We focus on expert services, where responsibilization concerns are particularly salient, and question whether this expanding policy is in the public interest. In the process, we develop a conceptualization of resource integration under responsibilization that includes three levels of actors (consumer, provider and service system), the identification of structural tensions to resource integration and three categories of resource integration practices (access, appropriation and management) necessary to negotiate responsibilization. Our findings have important implications for health care providers, public policy makers, and other service systems, all of which must pay more active attention to the challenges consumers face in negotiating responsibilization and the resulting well-being outcomes.
- responsibilization, resource integration, expert services systems, well-being, transformative service research, health care service system