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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Sandford Borins

The public sector has traditionally been considered inhospitable to innovation, particularly innovations initiated by middle managers and front‐line staff. Unlike the

Abstract

The public sector has traditionally been considered inhospitable to innovation, particularly innovations initiated by middle managers and front‐line staff. Unlike the private sector, the public sector is characterized by asymmetric incentives that punish unsuccessful innovations much more severely than they reward successful ones, by the absence of venture capital to seed creative problem solving, and by adverse selection by innovative individuals against public service careers. A growing body of evidence based on applications to innovation awards reveals that, despite this inhospitable environment, frontline public servants and middle managers are responsible for many innovations. In addition, some public sector organizations have consistently produced a large number of innovations. Draws on this evidence to suggest ways of enhancing public sector organizations’ capacity for innovation.

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Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Ohoud Ali AlShehail, Mehmood Khan and Mian Ajmal

This study aims to critically investigate the structural relationships between total quality management (TQM), service innovation and sustainability performance in the

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to critically investigate the structural relationships between total quality management (TQM), service innovation and sustainability performance in the public service sector of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed an online survey to collect data from 400 employees working in eight selected UAE public service sector organisations located in Abu Dhabi. The collected data were analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM) to empirically examine whether TQM practices improve service innovation and, subsequently, sustainability performance in the UAE's public service sector.

Findings

The results show that TQM has a significant impact on service innovation and sustainability performance in the UAE's public service sector. Additionally, service innovation partially mediates the relationship between TQM and sustainability performance.

Practical implications

The public service sector's TQM practices and service innovation in the UAE have a much greater impact on social and environmental sustainability than on economic sustainability performance. Adopting five dimensions of TQM (following the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance [ADAEP] model) across the UAE's public organisations will enable government departments to deliver innovative services to its beneficiaries.

Originality/value

This study provides a substantial contribution by addressing the gaps in the literature. Very few studies have empirically investigated the possible association between TQM, service innovation and sustainability performance in public sector organisations, particularly in developing countries such as the UAE, where the increasing efforts in TQM practices are still in their emerging stages, mainly targeting innovative service offerings and sustainable performance.

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Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2021

J. Ignacio Criado and Ariana Guevara-Gómez

This paper aims to study the results of open innovation initiatives in Spain under the lockdown during the first stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Based on the most recent…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the results of open innovation initiatives in Spain under the lockdown during the first stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Based on the most recent literature on open innovation in the public sector, this paper explores the following research questions, namely, what are the key features of collaborative governance processes that guided open innovation initiatives in the Spanish public sector during the COVID-19 crises? How open public innovation cases generated public value to the society during the COVID-19 crises in Spain?

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on two in-depth case studies of open innovation in the public sector: the collaborative platform Frena la Curva and the hackathon Vence al Virus, both launched during the first moments of the COVID-19 crisis. The methodology is based on 13 semi-structured interviews, content observation and documentary analysis. The data were interpreted according to the dimensions described in the analytical framework: descriptive dimensions of both initiatives but also their degree of elaboration, incentives and objectives, characteristics of governance and collaboration between actors and challenges for the accountability processes; and finally, their procedural legitimacy, considering the COVID-19 crisis context.

Findings

The results of the study show that citizens have played a key role during the hardest stage of the crisis, collaborating with governments and advancing their innovative capabilities, mostly in the digital sphere. The analysis also identified different outcomes, including the improvement of citizen’s involvement, deliberation practices or network building. Besides, this paper has identified some limitations and barriers to open innovation and collaborative governance processes in terms of accountability and legitimacy of these initiatives. Here, their contribution was constrained by the emerging stage of implementation and by the unique circumstances of the lockdown under the COVID-19 crisis.

Research limitations/implications

Future advancements of open innovation initiatives to consolidate collaborative governance processes will need further exploration. Although this paper diversified the contacts and the data collection in the fieldwork to avoid social biases, the results of the interviews might reflect very positive outcomes. Despite the case studies that took place during the COVID-19 crisis and their planned actions to maintain their existence, the post-crisis analysis will be needed to assess the impact of these open innovation cases in collaborative governance structures.

Practical implications

Open innovation is an emerging narrative and practice in the public sector requiring time and energy from public officials and managers. The study also highlighted the problem of how to legitimate open innovation cases in the public sector and the implications for their institutionalization. Public managers involved in these types of initiatives need to keep the momentum both inside and outside their organizations. Regarding the utilization of information and communications technologies (ICTs), open innovation processes do not need technology to develop their full potential, whereas the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing digitalization of work settings, accessibility, etc., could transform ICTs into a critical tool for public managers leading innovation initiatives within their organizations.

Social implications

The social implications of this paper are manifold. This study provides evidence of one of the future avenues of public management: open innovation. New avenues for the involvement and collaboration of citizens with public authorities are another social implication pinpointed by this paper. Democratic legitimacy and procedural accountability are assessed using the open innovation case studies during the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, transforming governments using collaborative platforms deserves social oversight understanding if they really contribute to build trust in political institutions.

Originality/value

Despite their differences, both Frena la Curva and Vence al Virus demonstrated the potential and limitations of public innovation and collaborative governance to cope with an unprecedented crisis such as the COVID-19. The special features of this emergency, including the long period of confinement, posed challenges and also opportunities to develop these initiatives: as several interviewees stated, these projects helped to channel the civic energy to co-produce solutions in collaboration with a wide range of actors. Data allow us to identify the key features of collaborative governance that guided open innovation initiatives in the Spanish public sector during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Abstract

Details

Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

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Book part
Publication date: 9 May 2014

Sabina Klimentova

The aim of this chapter is to study innovation in the public sector, to get a better understanding of what is considered as an innovation, to show how that can be measured…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this chapter is to study innovation in the public sector, to get a better understanding of what is considered as an innovation, to show how that can be measured and to define different types of observed innovations. The chapter addresses to study all significant changes and improvements made within 12 Luxembourg public organizations.

Methodology/approach

The first part is a literature review with presentation of the key definitions and concepts; it illustrates the themes related to innovation and its measurement in the public sector. The second part presents the methodology applied to 12 Luxembourg public administrations. I based my study on a follow-up interviews conducted in 2008 within certain public organizations, followed by a second phase of satisfaction surveys completed from the rest of the administrations in 2012. I analyzed the results and measured public services’ degree of innovation. I adopted the Australian case of conceptual framework and presented its application into the Luxembourgish context taking into account national problematic in the discussion section. Comments and feedback are directly extracted from the interviews are added in the conclusion.

Findings

After analyzing the self-assessment’s final reports of 12 Luxembourg public organizations, my team and I, grouped the areas to innovate in different categories in order to identify the origins of the most recurrent causes. These self-assessment reports have also highlighted the lack of outcome evaluation in public organizations.

Practical implication

This study will help public sector organizations to develop strategies to improve innovation capability. First by implementing the continuous improvement program and second by measuring the public sector innovation, it will help organizations to identify their strengths and weaknesses on various aspects of innovation.

Details

Performance Measurement and Management Control: Behavioral Implications and Human Actions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-378-0

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Arif Budy Pratama

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive analysis of Indonesia’s public service innovation drawn from the top 99 nominees of the national competition for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive analysis of Indonesia’s public service innovation drawn from the top 99 nominees of the national competition for public service innovation from 2014 to 2016.

Design/methodology/approach

To answer the research question, this study applied archival research as a research strategy. A documentation method was conducted to collect the data. Using content analysis aided by NVivo 11 this study analyzes the following themes: implementing agencies, innovation types, innovation goals, innovation outcomes, policy sector in which innovation implemented and geographical perspective.

Findings

The public service innovation in Indonesia from 2014 to 2016 were dominated by local government and process innovation in which designates to the amalgamation of technological and administrative dimensions of innovation. The most occurrence outcomes were aimed to tackling societal problems in the health and education sector. Whilst in the geographical perspective, big portion of innovation were taking place in Java Island.

Research limitations/implications

The result of this study is mainly based on secondary data drawing from public service innovation competition held by the Indonesian Ministry of Administrative Reform. Consequently, the result is limited to provide a mapping feature and trends of innovation. Future research may use more extensive samples (not only sourced from the nominees but also all submitted initiatives) to obtain more representation of public service innovation in Indonesia.

Practical implications

Given the fact that lack of collaboration between public and private actors, the government needs to consider on designing strategies and policy direction to foster collaboration in public service innovation.

Originality/value

This research offers a comprehensive analysis on Indonesian public service innovation. Methodologically, the research introduces archival research as one of the alternative research strategies on public sector innovation scholarships.

Details

Innovation & Management Review, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2515-8961

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Satu Pekkarinen, Lea Hennala, Vesa Harmaakorpi and Tomi Tura

The purpose of this study is to examine the ongoing dynamics of the public service sector reform through an embedding process of a municipal enterprise from the field of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the ongoing dynamics of the public service sector reform through an embedding process of a municipal enterprise from the field of basic social and health care services – a pilot model in Finland.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework of a multi‐level perspective on transitions is used to describe the change process. At the lowest level of this perspective are the experimental niches acting as “seeds of change” represented by the case organisation, a municipal enterprise operating in the basic social and health care sector. The data consist of 16 thematic interviews with the key persons of the operating system, analysed with the principles of content analysis.

Findings

The examination uncovers diverse pressures affecting niche level innovations and manifesting as clashes and controversies between old and new ways of thinking, but these clashes can also act as a platform for innovations when opened up, analysed and facilitated.

Practical implications

Clashes that appear in societal transition processes and regime changes, both in the regimes and also on the organisational level, should not be seen solely as bottlenecks, because they can act as innovation potential when opened up and facilitated. This implies the need for not only new technological, service‐related and organisational innovations in the public sector reform, but also innovative practices, “second level innovations”.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discussion on the ongoing change processes in the reform of the social and health care sector, emphasising emerging clashes not only as obstacles but opportunities.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Daniela Sangiorgi

The aim of this work is to provide an initial picture of how some design agencies are contributing toward a paradigm shift and how they are developing in the future to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this work is to provide an initial picture of how some design agencies are contributing toward a paradigm shift and how they are developing in the future to better inform design policies and interdisciplinary work. There is a general agreement that the current government and public sector structure and modes of operation need radical transformation. In this scenario, a shift from New Public Management towards New Public Governance paradigm has been auspicated. Design has attracted attention as a potential approach to support this transformation, but research into Service Design, as well as discussions on its future development, for public sector innovation is limited. This paper is an exploratory study into the individual work of seven representative UK design agencies operating for and within the public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews literature on public sector reform and innovation to inform comparative studies of contemporary design agencies working for public sector reform. Interviews with seven designers from NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Participle, Innovation Unit, Uscreates, Collaborative Change, Futuregov and Snook are conducted to review their perceived role for public sector reform, their design approaches, exemplar projects and main challenges.

Findings

Emerging design strategies for Public Sector reform are: a collaborative design approach that considers all stakeholders as equal co-creators of public value; operating at different complementary levels to aim at systemic change; designing from the inside out (innovation culture) and outside in (market change). These different strategies imply the development of possible different business models. Existing creative tensions appear between embedding and outsourcing strategies, acting as facilitators vs designers, developing both designing and service delivery roles.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on a limited sample of design agencies, and it is not a systematic study into the impact of their design work, which should be the object of a following study.

Practical implications

This paper brings Service Design practice into public sector innovation debate to inform future interdisciplinary research and innovation policies. It positions existing design innovation strategies within the wider picture of public sector reform to support a more informed design practice.

Originality/value

Few studies have looked at the UK design agencies for public sector innovation and discussed their possible future developments. This paper provides an original and holistic description of design for public sector innovation with considerations on how it should be interpreted when developing supporting innovation and design policies.

Details

Foresight, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Joseph Evans Agolla and Jacobus Burger Van Lill

The purpose of this paper is to assess innovation in public sector organisations (PSOs) from the middle managers’ perspectives. Several studies have been conducted on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess innovation in public sector organisations (PSOs) from the middle managers’ perspectives. Several studies have been conducted on innovation drivers in organisations; however, such studies are limited when it comes to the public sector. Innovation is a term that has been synonymous with the private sector, until of late when public sector organisations adopted the terminology.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study adopts a qualitative approach. The findings are based on a sample of selected 16 middle managers from two PSOs in Kenya. The study relies on focus group discussions (FGDs) to collect data. The data are analysed thematically, based on categorisation.

Findings

First, the results identified drivers, barriers, strategies to overcome barriers, innovation outcomes/indicators and the status of innovation in Kenya’s public sector. Second, the study points to policy directions, theory and practice.

Research limitations/implications

The study suggests that innovation drivers in the public sector greatly depend on government and top management, particularly the way they craft policies and provide support for innovative behaviours. The current findings are limited to innovation activities of the public sector in Kenya, specifically the two organisations.

Originality/value

The findings from this research can aid the understanding of the nature of innovation in PSOs given that it is empirically based on middle managers’ insights.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

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