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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…

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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: 1 December 2021

Ditte Thøgersen

For decades, there has been a call for the public sector to be more innovative, and there is widespread agreement that managers play a crucial role in meeting this goal…

Abstract

Purpose

For decades, there has been a call for the public sector to be more innovative, and there is widespread agreement that managers play a crucial role in meeting this goal. Most studies of innovation management focus on top-level managers, despite the fact that most innovation activities take place on the frontlines, deeply embedded in professional practice. Meanwhile, micro-level studies of innovation tend to focus on the agency of employees, which leaves a knowledge gap regarding the mobilizing role of frontline managers. This is unfortunate because frontline managers are in a unique position to advance the state of the art of their professions, in scaling public innovation and in implementing public reform.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore how frontline managers approach innovation, a case study has been constructed based on in-depth interviews with 20 purposely selected frontline managers, all working within the Danish public childcare sector.

Findings

The article explores how frontline managers perceive their role in public innovation and finds three distinct approaches to innovation leadership: a responsive, a strategic and a facilitating approach.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the research on public management by applying existing research on leadership styles in order to discuss the implications of how frontline managers perceive their role in relation to public innovation.

Details

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

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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.

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

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Content available
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. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Imane Hijal-Moghrabi, Meghna Sabharwal and Kannan Ramanathan

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of New Public Management (NPM) reforms/practices on innovation in public sector organizations. Although much is written…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of New Public Management (NPM) reforms/practices on innovation in public sector organizations. Although much is written on NPM, the assumption that NPM reforms stimulate organizational innovation has not been empirically tested. The present study is an attempt to bridge this research gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on open-systems approach, institutional theory, and innovation research, this study argues that organizational innovation occurs in response to stimuli in the external (environmental factors) and internal environment (organizational factors), considering NPM reforms/practices as a proxy for external or environmental factors. Organizational factors include formal structural complexity, senior management support and job security. The study tests this model using data from a national survey conducted in five states in the US.

Findings

The study provides empirical insights into our understanding of the factors that drive innovation in public sector organizations. The study finds that although environmental factors are as significant as organizational factors in driving innovation in the public sector, senior management support remains the most important predictor of innovation.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study the effect of NPM reforms and practices on innovation in public organizational settings.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Open Access
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…

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3692

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: 29 May 2018

Dulcineia Catarina Moura, Maria José Madeira, Filipe A.P. Duarte, João Carvalho and Orlando Kahilana

The purpose of this paper is to better understand whether firm cooperation and absorptive capacity foster success in seeking public financial support for innovation

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand whether firm cooperation and absorptive capacity foster success in seeking public financial support for innovation activities and, by doing so, how they contribute to innovation output.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors therefore extend the existing literature focusing on the effects of cooperation and absorptive capacity on specific public financial support for innovation activities in Portuguese firms from local or regional government, central administration and the European Union by using available data from the Community Innovation Survey CIS 2010 and the application of logistic regression models. The empirical analysis enabled a better understanding of the positive relationship of the variables that determine the form of public financial support in the integration of incentives within firms to stimulate innovation.

Findings

Therefore, as the level of absorptive capacity in Portuguese firms increases, so does the demand for benefits from public financial support to stimulate innovation from the European Union also increases. The same analysis, now considering the determinant cooperation, notes the positive effects of institutional sources of information and cooperation, in the propensity for seeking public financial incentives from the Central Administration and the European Union. As for internal information and cooperation sources, they are positively related to the integration of incentive measures from the local or Regional Administration and Central Administration.

Originality/value

The paper presents results that allow us to propose some suggestions that both the firms and those responsible for the implementation of public policies can undertake to increment innovation performance.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2020

Ainhoa Arrona, Susana Franco and James R. Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between collaborative governance arrangements for place-based competitiveness and public innovation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between collaborative governance arrangements for place-based competitiveness and public innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines a conceptual discussion of the links between collaborative governance, competitiveness policy and public innovation with a case study analysis of a specific governance process that aims at adapting policy to respond to local competitiveness challenges in the Basque province of Biscay.

Findings

The conceptual discussion leads to the hypothesis of a new distinction with respect to how governance relates to public innovation. Innovation can occur in governance, through governance or with governance. The analysis of the case supports this distinction. Multi-actor collaboration for competitiveness policymaking (innovation in governance) has led to policy innovation (innovation through governance). This has also promoted emerging administrative changes that could be conducive to a more innovative public sector in general (innovation with governance). These findings validate arguments posed by proponents of collaborative innovation that suggest that multi-actor collaboration is a driver for public sector innovation.

Originality/value

The value of the paper rests on linking theoretically and empirically two relevant and currently popular phenomena: networked governance for place-based competitiveness policymaking and public sector innovation. The paper provides original insights from the practice of building a process for context-sensitive policymaking that can inspire practitioners with similar problems.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Sang M. Lee, Taewon Hwang and Donghyun Choi

The purpose of this study is to examine the current open innovation practices in the public sector of leading countries.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the current open innovation practices in the public sector of leading countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a framework based on the role of the government in open innovation, this study analyses a profile of early open innovation adopters based on collected data from secondary sources.

Findings

First, the USA, Australia and Singapore developed open innovation policies at the national level, facilitating a positive innovation climate. Many projects, especially those in online platforms, were established under these policies. Second, although outside‐in open innovation principles seem to be popular, there have been emerging attempts to exploit the value of government data through inside‐out approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Most governments are in the early stages of adoption of open innovation and are in the process of understanding relevant issues. Future research should investigate how governments adopt open innovation, in particular inside‐out initiatives.

Practical implications

Governments should develop an overarching strategic plan, which would help its employees to recognise that new change is consistent with the needs of their workplace practices. Some organizations and projects led by citizens help the government engage external ideas in solving issues that are beyond its control.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to examine the current open innovation policies at the government level.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Anne Rainville

To induce innovation in the public sector, Directive 2014/24/EU encourages internal and external consultation during the procurement process. However, little is known…

Abstract

To induce innovation in the public sector, Directive 2014/24/EU encourages internal and external consultation during the procurement process. However, little is known regarding the prominence of these practices. Determining the extent of knowledge sourcing in innovation procurement across 28 European countries, this paper presents an institutional cluster analysis, examining heterogeneity across knowledge sourcing activities, procurement areas, and tender innovation outcomes for 1,505 public procurers from 2008-2010. Building upon existing taxonomies, three types of procuring agencies are identified: Large collaborative agencies practicing public procurement of innovation (31%); supplier-focused pre-commercial procurers (20%); and direct procurers at the municipal level (49%). Validation supports this heterogeneity, using innovation outcomes and policy drivers. At the country level, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Poland are most represented in respective clusters. Findings enable predictions regarding impacts on agencies and innovation from the new public procurement directive's translation into national law by Member States.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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