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 14: Strategic management and change in the public services

Paul Joyce

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


Change and innovation in the public services are often poorly managed. A survey of senior civil servants in the UK found that only a third of them judged their departments to be good at managing change (Capability Reviews Team 2007, p. 31). In this chapter we look at the case for using strategic management as a tool for change and innovation. Can strategic management produce successful change and innovation, and how does it do this? Strategic management is often seen as having developed from strategic planning. Berry (2007, p. 332) has stated: ‘Strategic Management involves taking the strategic planning process and extending it into an ongoing management paradigm of anticipating and managing organizational change and environmental uncertainty.’ For practitioners strategic management is also linked to change and innovation in the public services. Box 14.1 shows some of the outcomes in the minds of senior civil servants and public services leaders when trying to develop and deliver strategic plans in government. In general these outcomes imply change and innovation.

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