Collaborative innovation: A viable alternative to market-competition and organizational entrepreneurship

Hartley, Jean; Sørensen, Eva and Torfing, Jacob (2013). Collaborative innovation: A viable alternative to market-competition and organizational entrepreneurship. Public Administration Review, 73(6) pp. 821–830.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12136

Abstract

There are growing pressures for the public sector to be more innovative but considerable disagreement about how to achieve it. This paper uses institutional and organizational analysis to compare three major but different public innovation strategies. The paper commences by confronting the myth that the market-driven private sector is more innovative than the public sector by showing that both sectors have a number of barriers as well as drivers of innovation, some of which are similar while others are sector-specific. The paper then systematically analyses the three strategies for innovation. These are: New Public Management which emphasises market competition; the neo-Weberian state which emphasises organizational entrepreneurship; and collaborative governance which emphasises multi-actor engagement across organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors. The article concludes that the choice between different strategies for enhancing public innovation is contingent rather than absolute. Some contingencies for each strategy are outlined.

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