Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Management
Edited by Paul Windrum and Per Koch
Chapter 10: Learning to Innovate in a Transition Country: Developing Quality Standards for Elderly Residential Care in Slovakia
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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