Innovation in Public Sector Services
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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.
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Chapter 4: Survey of Research on Health Sector Innovation

Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj


Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj 4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter surveys the literature devoted to innovation in the health sector, with particular focus on public sector hospitals as this is where the vast majority of past research has been conducted. By conducting this survey we appreciate health sector innovation in all its diversity, and the diversity of possible loci of innovation. The chapter provides a general foundation for the six health case studies (Chapters 5 to 10) of the book. The chapter is divided into seven sections. Section 4.2 discusses the challenges raised by innovation within the health sector hospitals and the key generic drivers of innovation in health. These are resources, competition, social or societal considerations, and performance measurement and ‘transparency’. In Sections 4.3 to 4.6 we focus on the literature on innovation in hospitals, as this is where most research is conducted. This enables us to explore more clearly the four major key drivers of innovation discussed in Section 4.2 and to examine the detailed literature on innovation that exists in this area. The theoretical and empirical literature on innovation in hospitals contains four very different perspectives about hospitals. The first group includes those studies by traditional economists that view the hospital as a production function. The second group of studies views the hospital as a ‘set of technological and biopharmacological capacities’, and emphasizes the role of medical innovation, that is, the various types of (tangible and intangible) technological and biopharmacological innovations in the healthcare field. The...

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