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 10: Learning to Innovate in a Transition Country: Developing Quality Standards for Elderly Residential Care in Slovakia

Katarina Staro ová and Udmila Malíková


Katarina Staron ˇová and L’udmila Malíková 10.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on understanding the nature of innovation processes in a transition country. The case study is taken from the area of social services provision, notably a residential home for the elderly in Slovakia. The transition from communism to a market oriented democracy brought about changes in the beliefs and the overall organization of a society that was based on a uniform bureaucratic model. Do these changes encourage entrepreneurship and innovative thinking? This chapter reflects on empirical material collected in Slovakia in 2004 in an organization providing direct services to its clients. The research methodology selected was to map the development of innovation within the context of the public sector, and to examine the factors that stimulate, drive, facilitate, resist and disseminate innovation in a case study taken from the area of social services. Social policy and social care in Slovakia are undergoing transition simultaneously with reforms in the economic and political spheres. The original social protection system that functioned under the communist regime was challenged, and new welfare relations needed to be established. These included systemic changes in the provision of social services and the introduction of efficiency measures and new forms of financing. Decentralization processes affecting competencies, such as social services in general (including the care of the elderly) have meant a new distribution of responsibilities and more power for residential homes to participate in systemic changes from a bottom-up perspective. Within this environment, residential...

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