Public–Private Innovation Networks in Services
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Public–Private Innovation Networks in Services

Edited by Faïz Gallouj, Luis Rubalcaba and Paul Windrum

This book is devoted to the study of public–private innovation networks in services (ServPPINs). These are a new type of innovation network which have rapidly developed in service economies. ServPPINs are collaborations between public and private service organisations, their objective being the development of new and improved services which encompass both technological and non-technological innovations.
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Chapter 14: Public–private innovation networks in services: the crucial role of entrepreneurial fit

Jon Sundbo


This chapter aims to develop a theoretical understanding of entrepreneurship as a role that can facilitate service innovation processes that take palace in networks with parties that have different backgrounds for and interests in innovation. The understanding is based on research of public–private innovation networks in services (ServPPINs). The focus of the chapter is how the existence of entrepreneurs from the private and the public sectors, and even the third sector (for example, humanitarian, labour market organizations), can drive the innovation process and remove barriers – if they have a positive mutual relation. This is called entrepreneurial fit. There has been an increasing focus on the public sector as a service provider and on innovation in public services (Windrum and Koch, 2008). The public sector has often been seen as presenting strong barriers to innovation. It has been suggested that public–private networks can overcome these barriers (Rubalcaba, 2007; den Hertog and Rubalcaba, 2010). However, even public–private networks can have problems inbeing successful innovators. Entrepreneurship may be the factor that makes such networks work and gets the innovation process running because it drives the process and maintains the focus within the networks. Although the analysis elucidates entrepreneurships’ function in innovation networks in general, it focuses on public–private networks in particular. This study breaks new ground as it is the first to investigate this issue.

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