Table of Contents

Handbook of Innovation in Public Services

Handbook of Innovation in Public Services

Elgar original reference

Edited by Stephen P. Osborne and Louise Brown

Leading researchers from across the globe review the state of the art in research on innovation in public services, providing an overview of key issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Topics explored include: context for innovation in public services and public service reform; managerial change challenges; ICT and e-government; and collaboration and networks. The theory is underpinned by seven wide-ranging case studies of innovation in practice.

Chapter 11: Entrepreneur or entrepreneurship in public services?

Zoe Radnor, Hannah Noke and Andrew Johnston

Subjects: business and management, public management, economics and finance, services, innovation and technology, innovation policy, politics and public policy, public policy


As a consequence of reforms in the public sector to improve effectiveness and efficiency and to raise responsiveness to citizens’ needs, a search for alternative frameworks to manage and guide the management of public sector organisations has been called for (Zampetakis and Moustakis 2007). Recent changes in society have meant that public sector organisations are expected to provide better value (Cripps 2002), often by adopting private sector standards commonly found in areas such as hospitality and banking (Currie et al. 2008). The impact of these changes has left the public sector struggling to re-orientate and searching for new ways to manage itself, which has increased the call for the public sector to turn towards entrepreneurship and innovation (Caruana et al. 2002). This is especially true in the case of the UK, where the Coalition Government elected in 2010 has set out a comprehensive plan of spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit (HM Treasury 2010), forcing public sector organisations to rethink, reorganise, maintain and even improve service provision with fewer resources (Radnor 2010). The term ‘public sector entrepreneurship’ has been developed by theorists who have turned their attention to examining the need for creative, opportunity-seeking and innovative behaviours associated with entrepreneurship in the context of public service activities (e.g. Ramamurti 1986; Doig and Hargrove 1987; Bellone and Goerl 1992).

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