Innovation in Public Sector Services

Innovation in Public Sector Services

Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Management

Edited by Paul Windrum and Per Koch

This groundbreaking book provides new key insights and opens up an important research agenda. The book develops a new taxonomy of the different types of innovation found in public sector services, and investigates the key features and drivers of public sector entrepreneurship. The book contains new statistical studies and a set of six international case studies in health and social services.

Chapter 9: Providing Care to the Elderly: Political Advocacy, Innovation Models and Entrepreneurship in Oslo

Helge Godø

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, management and universities, organisational innovation, public management, economics and finance, services, education, management and universities, innovation and technology, organisational innovation, politics and public policy, public administration and management


Helge Godø 9.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents a case study of public care service provision for the elderly in a local Oslo city district. The case study suggests that political advocacy and related entrepreneurship play an essential role in innovation dynamics. It calls into question the current scope of innovation theory, indicating that this needs to be broadened to include political perspectives. In addition to its theoretical implications, the case study raises important questions for innovation policy learning. The Oslo case study presented in this chapter suggests that a number of different innovation patterns, designs or, more aptly, innovation models exist that can stimulate creativity and novelty in care services for the elderly. This variety and heterogeneity, in terms of innovation processes and innovation models, can in part be explained by contextual factors, such as a national policy of giving political autonomy to local authorities and politicians for designing and implementing local care services to the elderly living in their districts. However, other factors, such as political advocacy, communitarianism and ideological factors are also important. Within this, which may be termed a selection environment, a wide range of entrepreneurship was also observed. At one extreme, technocratic entrepreneurship was observed. This was seen in public sector managers and personnel, who design and promote novel management systems, processes and methods which they believe will boost efficiency and productivity of public service provision to the elderly. At the opposite extreme the study observed local community activists and zealots with a burning...

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