Edited by Fred Gault
Chapter 17: Measuring innovation in the public sector
There is now a vast amount of experience on the measurement of innovation in businesses, as is clear from this handbook. However, public sector organizations, and for that matter also public services in general, have been neglected in these efforts. This has gradually begun to change in recent years with the growing perception that public sector innovation is vital for meeting many of the social and economic challenges faced today. As a result, there is a need for tools to measure public sector innovation. Based on these needs, there has been an increase in work within public sector innovation measurement. This work has had to grapple with difficult issues concerning both the nature of public sector innovation and statistical measurement. These recent studies have made significant progress both in identifying what can be measured and in shedding more light on the challenges that lie ahead towards the development of internationally comparable indicators. To set the stage, this chapter briefly examines related literature and key factors that have influenced measurement, focusing on what distinguishes the public sector from businesses. It then reviews measurement work within the area. Earlier work consists mainly of a relatively small number of individualized studies, many of which were structured as innovation competitions.
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