Come together, right now : empirical studies on collaborative public sector innovation
Innovation is increasingly a necessary way for governments to solve societal problems. Current complex 'wicked' problems of which not only the solution, but also the nature and extent is unknown require government organizations to look beyond their own organizational scope and to innovate because standard solutions are oftentimes not sufficiently effective to solve the problem at hand. As a result, government organizations increasingly collaborate with a variety of external actors in order to develop a public sector innovation. In this dissertation I examine how (1) the composition of such collaborative arrangements, and (2) the structure of the interaction networks of these collaborative arrangements, lead to public sector innovation. It was found that diversity with especially non-public actors is important to the innovation process, but its appropriateness depends on the type of innovation and its phase. Collaboration with a variety of actors is usually beneficial when an innovative idea still has to be developed. As soon as the idea is selected, collaboration becomes particularly important for exchanging resources that enable implementation. Consequently, interactions are at that point commonly bilateral with the goal to ‘get things done’. The results suggest that network coordinators need to be aware of the different phases of the innovation process and to act accordingly. Next, it was found that collaborative arrangements in which subgroups of actors, referred to as ‘cliques’, are well-connected to each other (through so-called ‘clique overlap’) are associated with innovative outcomes. This is especially the case when looking at the network structure which is formed when actors share information with each other outside official meetings. Lastly, the role of the underlying home organization should not be underestimated in these collaborative arrangements. Characteristics such as the learning capacity of the organization, the priority of the higher managerial levels and sufficient innovation resources are an important stimulus for (interactions in) collaborative innovation projects.
Antwerpen : Universiteit Antwerpen, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen , 2023
170 p.
Supervisor: Verhoest, Koen [Supervisor]
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Creation 05.12.2023
Last edited 20.12.2023
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