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Risky business—reconceptualizing risk and innovation in public services


  • Sophie Flemig
  • Stephen Osborne
  • Tony Kinder


This paper explores the relationship between risk and innovation in public services, presenting the state of the literature across different disciplines and the academic and policy literature. It suggests a novel framework to approach risk, emphasising the importance of differentiating between different types of risk and risk management. The paper offers a typology of risk types and management approaches that indicates different effects on the type of public service innovation. It concludes by considering the implications for theory and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Flemig & Stephen Osborne & Tony Kinder, 2016. "Risky business—reconceptualizing risk and innovation in public services," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 425-432, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pubmmg:v:36:y:2016:i:6:p:425-432
    DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2016.1206751

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anthony Wall & Ciaran Connolly, 2009. "The Private Finance Initiative," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(5), pages 707-724, September.
    2. Sophie Flemig, 2015. "New development: A game of responsibility? The regulation of health and social care professionals," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 169-171, March.
    3. David Corner, 2006. "The United Kingdom Private Finance Initiative: The Challenge of Allocating Risk," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 5(3), pages 37-55.
    4. Stephen P. Osborne & Norman Flynn, 1997. "Strategic Alliances Managing the Innovative Capacity of Voluntary and Non-Profit Organizations in the Provision of Public Services," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 31-39, October.
    5. Palermo, Tommaso, 2014. "Accountability and expertise in public sector risk management: a case study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59948, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Rob Ball & Maryanne Heafey & Dave King, 2007. "The Private Finance Initiative in the UK," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 289-310, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Signe Phil-Thingvad & Kurt Klaudi Klausen, 2019. "Managing The Implementation Of Innovation Strategies In Public Service Organisation — How Managers May Support Employees Innovative Work Behaviour," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 24(04), pages 1-29, December.
    2. Yanwei Li & Araz Taeihagh & Martin De Jong, 2018. "The Governance of Risks in Ridesharing: A Revelatory Case from Singapore," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(5), pages 1-21, May.

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