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From too little to too much innovation? Issues in measuring innovation in the public sector

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  • Arundel, Anthony
  • Huber, Dorothea

Abstract

Interviews with 37 branch level managers in the Australian Federal Government were conducted to determine how managers understood the concept of innovation and their familiarity with different types of innovations. A follow-on survey found that 91% of branches introduced an innovation in the previous two years. This high rate suggests that many of the innovations could be minor. Extensive cognitive testing found that public sector managers can provide high quality estimates of the amount of person months expended on innovations and on other measures of the significance of an innovation. Using this information, the share of branches that introduced a significant innovation is approximately 60%. Although suggestive, there is no statistically significant difference in the time required to develop innovations derived from ideas provided by upper management or by lower level staff. These and other results are relevant to the design and interpretation of public sector innovation surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • Arundel, Anthony & Huber, Dorothea, 2013. "From too little to too much innovation? Issues in measuring innovation in the public sector," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 146-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:27:y:2013:i:c:p:146-159
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2013.06.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lars Fuglsang, 2010. "Bricolage and invisible innovation in public service innovation," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 67-87.
    2. Fariborz Damanpour & Richard M. Walker & Claudia N. Avellaneda, 2009. "Combinative Effects of Innovation Types and Organizational Performance: A Longitudinal Study of Service Organizations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 650-675, June.
    3. Jean Hartley, 2005. "Innovation in Governance and Public Services: Past and Present," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(1), pages 27-34, January.
    4. Jean Hartley, 2005. "Innovation in Governance and Public Services: Past and Present," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 27-34, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaut, Fred, 2015. "Measuring innovation in all sectors of the economy," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:5:p:900-910 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1681-1691 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Razul Ikmal Ramli & Norihan A.Hassan & Aini Suzana Arifin & Adibah Najihah Jasmi, 2017. "Factors Influencing Public Sector Innovation Performance in Malaysia: Structural Equation Modelling Approach," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 7(2), pages 629-645, February.
    5. Arundel, Anthony & Casali, Luca & Hollanders, Hugo, 2015. "How European public sector agencies innovate: The use of bottom-up, policy-dependent and knowledge-scanning innovation methods," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1271-1282.
    6. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:3:p:617-622 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:urb:journl:v:3:y:2016:p:1-26 is not listed on IDEAS

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