T06P04 - Implementing Innovation: Theory, Praxis, Policies

Topic : Policy Implementation

Panel Chair : Evangelia Petridou - evangelia.petridou@miun.se

Panel Second Chair : Inga Narbutaite Aflaki - inganarb@kau.se

Panel Third Chair : Lee Miles - l.s.miles@lboro.ac.uk

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

The lines between public private management in the field of the provision of services of general interest have been blurred increasingly for at least the past couple of decades. And yet, most associate innovative practices with the private sector, whereas change in bureaucracies is thought of in terms of change (not necessarily for the best) or simply reforms. However, the public sector does, indeed, innovate  and in fact many innovations were developed as a means of addressing a new kind of wicked problems involving arduous political environments and fragmented jurisdictions and often inadequate resources (Harris and Kinney, 2003; Steelman, 2010; Windrum, 2008). Furthermore, for innovation to flourish that is, to be implemented successfully, Steelman argues that structural foundations have to be created in order to compete with the ones that the innovation seek to change or replace and create conditions that may foster innovation over time (2010). Here we refer to ‘innovation’ as the degree that adoption of programs departs from tradition. The implementation of these means or ends is inherent to the concept of innovation.

In light of serious global issues (such as climate change or the refugee crisis) as well as everyday challenges (such as the effective provision of public goods) affecting local political structures, we seek to open the black box of implementing public sector innovation. This means that our focus is not on the diffusion of innovation, but rather on the implementation of innovative practices. Our departure point is the taxonomy of public sector innovation outlined by Windrum (2008) comprising six types of innovation. The first three have been researched extensively in the private sector and it would be fruitful to be examined further in the public sector. These are (i) service innovation; (ii) service delivery innovation, and (iii) administrative and organizational innovation. The remaining three are: (iv) conceptual innovation, involving the development of new ways of thinking challenging old assumptions; (v) policy innovation as the result of learning resulting in the development of new policy concepts, and (vi) systemic innovation underpinning new ways of interacting with other stakeholders. Researching the implementation of innovation based on this taxonomy allows for the interrogation of actors, institutions and the interactions between them in a variety of substantive policy sectors and country settings, thus having a clear theoretical and empirical added value.  The object of this panel is to unpack the drivers and mechanisms fostering different kinds of innovation according the taxonomy above in a variety of policies and institutional contexts.

 

References

Harris, M., & Kinney, R. (2003). Introduction. In M. Harris & R. Kinney (Eds.), Innovation and Entrepreneurship in State and Local Governments (pp. 1-32). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

 

Steelman, T. A. (2010). Implementing Innovation: Fostering Enduring Change in Environmental and Natural Resource Governance. Washington, D:C..: Georgetown University Press.

 

Windrum, P. (2008). Innovation and Entrepreneurshi in Public Services. In P. Windrum & P. Koch (Eds.), Innovation in Public Sector Services: Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Management (pp. 3-10). Chelenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Call for papers

Under what conditions does the public sector innovate and which factors foster the implementation of innovation? Most associate innovative practices with the private sector, whereas change in bureaucracies is thought of in terms of change or reforms. However, the public sector does innovate and many innovations were developed as a means of addressing a new kind of wicked problems involving arduous political environments, fragmented jurisdictions and often inadequate resources (Harris and Kinney, 2003; Steelman, 2010; Windrum, 2008). Furthermore, for innovation to flourish that is, to be implemented successfully, Steelman argues that structural foundations have to be created in order to compete with the ones that the innovation seek to change or replace and create conditions that may foster innovation over time (2010).  

In this panel we focus on the puzzle of implementation of innovative practices, policies and institutional arrangements as a response to increasingly complex policy problems. We seek a selection of papers representing the breadth of policy implementation scholarship. We aim at bringing together a diverse group of theoretical, methodological, and empirical orientations with a view to expanding the horizons of methodology and praxis in implementation research.

We invite scholars to examine, among other themes:

·         What institutional factors foster innovation?

·         What constitutes innovative practices?

·         What strategies to actors use to implement innovation?

 

References

Harris, M., & Kinney, R. (2003). Introduction. In M. Harris & R. Kinney (Eds.), Innovation and Entrepreneurship in State and Local Governments (pp. 1-32). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

 

Steelman, T. A. (2010). Implementing Innovation: Fostering Enduring Change in Environmental and Natural Resource Governance. Washington, D:C..: Georgetown University Press.

 

Windrum, P. (2008). Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Public Services. In P. Windrum & P. Koch (Eds.), Innovation in Public Sector Services: Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Management (pp. 3-10). Chelenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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