T06P01 - Innovation Bureaucracies

Topic : Policy Implementation

Panel Chair : Wolfgang Drechsler - wolfgang.drechsler@ttu.ee

Panel Second Chair : Rainer Kattel - rainer.kattel@ttu.ee

Panel Third Chair : Erkki Karo - erkki.karo@gmail.com

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1 Innovation bureaucracies: theory and practice


Tutik Rachmawati - rachmawati.tutik@gmail.com - Parahyangan Catholic University - Indonesia - Indonesia

Chin-peng Chu - jh04e@utaipei.edu.tw - National Dong Hwa University - Taiwan

Innovation Bureaucracy: Does the organization of government matter when promoting innovation?

Rainer Kattel - rainer.kattel@ttu.ee - Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance - Estonia

Erkki Karo - erkki.karo@gmail.com - Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology - Estonia

Wolfgang Drechsler - wolfgang.drechsler@ttu.ee - Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance - Estonia


Current research on how to organize the roles of government in promoting innovation converges around a rather simplified single-organization explanation: support of innovation requires either (Weberian) elite expert organizations or (Schumpeterian) fluid peripheral organizations. We show that looking at history of innovation bureaucracy, a more complex picture emerges: historically we find a rich organizational variety in how governments have organized different innovation promoting activities. We show that historically this organizational variety is, first, driven by highly diverse public-private relationships; second, the variety is of evolutionary nature; third, the diversity of organizations itself is an important factor in success and failure of innovation policies. Combining analytical lenses created by Weber and management literature on capabilities and ambidexterity, we build analytical framework to understand how organizational variety of innovation bureaucracy evolves over time. We finish with discussing the importance of organizational variety for the concept of entrepreneurial state.

How do public officials provide directionality to breakthrough innovations? The case of the self-driving car policy of the Netherlands

Edgar Salas Gironés - esgirones@gmail.com - TU Eindhoven - Netherlands

One approach to address contemporary societal challenges, such as climate change or sustainability, is by introducing and diffusing breakthrough innovations. It is becoming increasingly acknowledged that these innovations will not be achieved by market parties alone, but that they require a leading role of state authorities (see Christensen et al. 2016). This acknowledgement, which has nurtured the debate in innovation policy about new rationales and instruments to support this leading state role (Weber and Rohracher 2012; Kivimaa and Kern 2016), remains largely neglected in policy sciences.


As suggested by Mazzucato (2011) in The Entrepreneurial State and later refined in further research (Mazzucato 2016; Weber and Rohracher 2012; Schot and Steinmuller 2016), one of the key functions of state officials in developing breakthrough technologies is providing directionality. Directionality consists of selecting which technologies to support, creating and developing new markets for them, and guaranteeing that the resulting innovations indeed address the aforementioned challenges. This directionality function of the state raises several questions about the role of public authorities therein, which I address in this research: How is this concept operationalized by policy makers? What is the role of non-elected state officials in achieving this directionality? How do public bureaucracies collaborate with non-state actors to achieve it?


This research aims to answer the aforementioned inquiries empirically. I analyze how policy makers provide directionality to the breakthrough innovation of self-driving cars in the Netherlands, which is expected to address societal challenges as quality of life and sustainability. The Netherlands has been considered a major hub for this breakthrough technology, after embracing an ambitious agenda to introduce this type of car in the following years. I performed a qualitative study in which interviews with non-elected state officials working in this technology were held. This was complemented with primary document analysis of the major organizations participating in the self-driving car development. 




Christensen, Jesper Lindgaard, Ina Drejer, Poul Houman Andersen, and Jacob Rubæk Holm. 2016. “Innovation Policy: How Can It Best Make a Difference?” Industry and Innovation 23 (2): 135–39. doi:10.1080/13662716.2016.1146128.

Kivimaa, Paula, and Florian Kern. 2016. “Creative Destruction or Mere Niche Support? Innovation Policy Mixes for Sustainability Transitions.” Research Policy 45 (1): 205–17. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2015.09.008.

Mazzucato, Mariana. 2016. “From Market Fixing to Market-Creating: A New Framework for Innovation Policy.” Industry and Innovation 23 (2): 140–56. doi:10.1080/13662716.2016.1146124.

Schot, Johan, and Edward Steinmuller. 2016. “Framing Innovation Policy for Transformative Change: Innovation Policy 3.0.” Sussex: Science Policy Research Unit.

Weber, K. Matthias, and Harald Rohracher. 2012. “Legitimizing Research, Technology and Innovation Policies for Transformative Change: Combining Insights from Innovation Systems and Multi-Level Perspective in a Comprehensive ‘failures’ Framework.” Research Policy, Special Section on Sustainability Transitions, 41 (6): 1037–47. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2011.10.015.


Grey and Bland? Differences in Innovativeness and Creativeness between Public and Private Sector Employees in Europe.

Wouter van Acker - wouter.vanacker@kuleuven.be - KU Leuven Public Governance Institute - Belgium

As the cliché goes, one should not look at the government for innovation and creativity. At the same time it is often assumed that public sector employees are very different from private sector employees; Research has found that the motivations for persons to work for either private or public organization differ greatly (see e.g. Buelens & Van den Broeck, 2007). This would lead one to believe that public sector employees would also end up being less creative and innovative than their private sector counterparts. This paper investigates, based on European Social Survey (ESS) data, whether or not this is the case. It finds that, in fact, there are no great differences between the two groups with regards to the importance that the individuals attach to innovation and creativity. This is in line with earlier finding by Lyons et al. (2006), who find that there are no differences between public and private sector employees on most of the values they test. It expands on this as well, since Lyons et al. do not investigate the importance of innovation as a specific value.


- Buelens, M. & Van den Broeck, H. (2007). An Analysis of Differences in Work Motivation between Public and Private Sector Organizations. Public Administration Review, 67:1, pp. 65-74.

- Lyons, S.T., Duxbury, L.E. & Higgins, C.A. (2006). A Comparison of the Values and Commitment of Private Sector, Public Sector, and Parapublic Sector Employees. Public Administration Review, 66:4, pp. 605-618.

Innovation in Australian Local Governments: A snapshot of community engagement practice

Christensen Helen - helen.christensen@uts.edu.au - University of Technology Sydney - Australia


While many would not consider Australian local governments the most obvious examples of innovation bureaucracies many are demonstrating innovation in their participatory democracy, or community engagement, practices. Compelled by community demand to have a greater say in public policy as well as increasingly complex and at times incongruous legislative requirements to facilitate community involvement, many Australian local governments are rising to the challenge and dedicating considerable time and resources to community engagement with much success. This presentation will introduce the initial research findings on the form of community engagement in Australian local governments. The data will include: how community engagement is understood by the organisations; the methods being used; the factors that enable its success and innovation as well as those that hinder it.  The results seek to highlight what makes some local governments innovative in their engagement, what makes others mediocre and why some lag behind.

Session 2 Innovation bureaucracies in the Asian contexts


Wouter van Acker - wouter.vanacker@kuleuven.be - KU Leuven Public Governance Institute - Belgium

Christensen Helen - helen.christensen@uts.edu.au - University of Technology Sydney - Australia

Why the Idea of Confucian Public Administration may be well-suited for an Innovation-based Economy

Wolfgang Drechsler - wolfgang.drechsler@ttu.ee - Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance - Estonia

Erkki Karo - erkki.karo@gmail.com - Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology - Estonia

In the innovation discourse, there seems to be something like a "Confucian Paradox", which means that the particularly hierarchical, retrospective and seemingly non-innovative Public Administration (PA) system that is based on Confucianism (in values and/or institutions) appears to generate innovation-based economic performance and development. Based on evolutionary innovation theories, one can explain this paradox through the concept of institutional complementarities: in a specific time and context, the public sector has to cover exactly those areas (and styles) that the private sector does not. Thus, what seems like a paradox is actually what one would expect prima facie. We propose that the structural-institutional model of Confucian PA together with the philosophical-cultural concept of the Mandate of Heaven – that legitimacy comes through overall, rather than indicator-driven, performance – can be seen as potentially providing the East and Southeast Asian ideational and structural context in which civil servants are endowed with both the legitimacy and ‘capacities’ to support innovation in markets and – if needed for the former – to pursue innovations in government as well.

Advancing Public Organization Performance and Public Excellent Services Through Public Entrepreneurship : A Case Study of Local Governments in Asian context

Tutik Rachmawati - rachmawati.tutik@gmail.com - Parahyangan Catholic University - Indonesia - Indonesia

Ni Made Eti Widhiari - made_etiwidhiari@yahoo.com - Parahyangan Catholic University - Indonesia

Christy Natalia Sagala - Christynatalia93@gmail.com - Parahyangan Catholic University - Indonesia

Whilst the concept of entrepreneurship is rarely welcomed in public organizations.  It is however very important for public officials in every public organisation and staffs in local governments to understand the concept public entrepreneurship and apply it in their work. This study aims to analyze the role of public entrepreneurship in Advancing Public Organization Performance and  Public Excellent Services. 


This paper will analyze the characteristic of public entrepreneurship in local governments in Indonesia. It will reveal how characteristics such as innovative, ability to seize opportunity, willingness to take risk and the level of discretion can be found in the public officials of local government. Further, this paper will discuss how those characteristics matters define the performance of the local government and also advancing the public services.


The paper is based on the finding from research of two local governments in Indonesia. It, therefore, will provide general understanding of how public entrepreneurship role in local governments in Indonesia. The study use a mix method research design and the data is collected from both questionnaire and interviews. This study benefit from large data collected from 44 units in two local governments, 178 interviews with informants from public official staffs and 248 questionnaire from community member.


The result of this study indicates that the most observable public entrepreneurship characteristic are (1) innovative, (2) ability to identify opportunities and (3) mission driven. Further, the characteristic of taking risk is the least characteristic found in local government. Further, it is also evident from this research that the most observable characteristics of public entrepreneurship affect the local government performance and its public services. 

Ambidexterity of innovation bureaucracies: “change agents” in East Asian innovation bureaucracies

Erkki Karo - erkki.karo@gmail.com - Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology - Estonia

One of the core question of innovation management is how to make organizations good at both the routine implementation and delivery of specific activities and the search for new ideas, solutions and practices to improve one’s daily operations, or competitive position in the broader organizational landscape. Organizational and management research has largely agreed that this requires organizational and managerial approaches that combine and balance – either in one organization of through organizational variety – between different capabilities, be them defined as capacities to explore and exploit, ordinary and dynamic capabilities, or organizational ambidexterity. Modern innovation policy research is tackling with a similar issue: how to secure the capabilities of innovation policy bureaucracies (innovation bureaucracies) to both implement innovation policies (to finance, regulate, guide innovation processes through direct and indirect actions) effectively and to come up with new policy approaches and instruments in case existing ones seem to fail.


In this paper, we look at the evolution of innovation bureaucracies in East Asia (we focus on three cases: Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) and argue that contrary to the Western trends of building peripheral innovation agencies as "change agents", in East Asia, we see an opposite trend of building highly visible central "change agents" with strong political support and involvement. This is supported and sustained by policy narratives and development models that emphasize the entrepreneurial/developmental role of the state in economy.


Public Participation and Innovation Governance: An Analysis for Cross-Ministerial Coordination Mechanism in Taiwan

Chin-peng Chu - jh04e@utaipei.edu.tw - National Dong Hwa University - Taiwan

From a normative stance, participation-based policy management has been recommended at all prospective of the public policy, but it has been subjected to major criticisms since the problems and doubts about cross-ministerial coordination, participation, and performance.

The empirical innovation governance analysis is based on a case study of National Development Council in Taiwan. The NDC is responsible to the Executive Yuan for advancement and assessment of how the government and its subsidiary agencies to serve. Base on the case, this article shows the establishment of new coordination of public governance, innovative advanced program of government services.

In addition, the NDC introduces the activity of service reform in the Executive Yuan and its subsidiary agencies and local governments through carrying out the Advanced Program to afford innovative services, which have the effect of creating spaces and procedures that allow the social participation, public consultation, and co-production in a collective strategy. This article will examine the linkage of efficiency of the governmental governance, public trust and societal participation on the one hand and focus on the empirical experiences of cross-ministerial coordination in Taiwan on the other hand.



Keywords: public governance, societal governance, policy coordination, intergovernmental relations

The Initiative Leadership and Decision-making in Disaster Governance: Lessons in Taiwan Experience

Chun-yuan Wang - g885422@seed.net.tw - Central Police University - Taiwan

Paper Title: The Initiative Leadership and Decision-making in Disaster Governance: Lessons in Taiwan Experience


Authors: Tzung-Shiun Li, Chun-yuan Wang and Ming-feng Kuo[1]



The current disaster management model is different from those used in the past. Despite the important role the government plays during a crisis, its authority can be challenged, and its role is not as concrete or as uniform as before. Given the highly complex dynamics and diversity of social politics, disaster governance involves different units and executors in different sectors, leading to the need for collaboration and networking. Abundant literature discusses collective decision-making, but scant studies put the collaborative decision-making in the context of a disaster situation. Therefore, this study aims at exploring the initiative role and functions of bureaucratic leadership and understanding the critical factors influence on the decision-making process of collaborative disaster governance.

After reviewing literature and framing the analytical framework for this study, three cases in Taiwan will be discussed. These include: On 31 July 2014, a series of gas explosions occurred in Kaohsiung City (southern Taiwan) which led into 32 people killed and more than 300 others were injured. Secondly, on June 27, 2015, flammable starch-based powder exploded at Formosa Fun Coast, a recreational water park in Bali, New Taipei City (northern), injuring 508 people and leaving 199 in critical condition. The third case involved with the earthquake occurred on Feb. 6, 2016 in Tainan City (southern Taiwan) which caused widespread damage and 117 deaths. Among all the three cases, although an integrated regional disaster management mechanism exists in northern Taiwan, the response seemed chaotic in the beginning. Eventually the disaster was effectively controlled and fewer news stories appeared that placed blame. The authors collected qualitative data through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Some policy recommendations about enhancing the leadership and decision-making on collaborative disaster governance are provided at the end of this paper.


Keywords: decision-making, collaborative disaster governance, leadership, Case study, Taiwan

[1] The author Li is Professor and Chair, Dept. of Foreign Affairs Police, Central Police University, Taiwan. E-mail: una231@mail.cpu.edu.tw. Wang is Associate Professor, Dept. of Police Administration, Central Police University. E-mail: g885422@seed.net.tw. Kuo is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science & Graduate Institute of Public Affairs, National Taiwan University. E-mail: ming-feng.kuo@gmail.com.

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