Innovation in the Public Sector
Linking Capacity and Leadership
Edited by Victor Bekkers, Jurian Edelenbos and Bram Steijn
This book addresses issues relevant to an understanding of the innovation journeys on which public organizations have embarked. The need to innovate does not solely reflect a desire to create a more efficient and effective government, an idea which is to some extent dominant in the new public management literature and which often focuses on the modernization of public service processes. The contributors argue that innovation is required to create a legitimate public sector that is able to meet a number of societal challenges. Furthermore, one of the challenges government organizations face in order to create an innovative public sector is the need to invest in their linking capacities. The development of these linking capacities can be perceived as a necessary condition for public sector innovation, while the need to innovate can be understood as arising from the need to restore the lost connections between government and society. What are the relevant mechanisms that play an important role in the creation of the new linkages? Is the nature of the public sector itself a handicap in the creation of these linkages? Does the public sector have its own specific incentives that stimulate innovation? In addition, if public innovation is defined as a necessary condition for establishing meaningful interactions between the government and society what are the relevant issues that may explain successful processes and forms of public innovation? .