Enhancing innovation in public organizations through public-private partnerships: The role of public managers

Marc Esteve Laporta, Francisco Longo Martínez, Tamyko Ysa Figueras

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Resumen

Innovation is no stranger to public organizations. In fact, it has been defined as pretty much imperative for them (Osborn 1998). For example, several scholars have highlighted the global importance of innovation in public organizations over the last decade. The public management literature has identified inter-organizational relations as an innovation in the governance of a public organization (see Mandell and Steelman 2003). From this perspective, public organizations engaging in inter-organizational collaboration interact with other organizations in a network-based relationship, instead of the classic principal-agent position of the traditional public organization with a hierarchical culture. In the last decade, inter-organizational relations have become very popular in the public sector (see, for a review, Hodge and Greve 2009). For that reason, this chapter considers innovation not only as the creation of an inter-organizational relationship but also as the new ideas, objects or practices created through inter-organizational relations. The underlying thesis is that inter-organizational collaborations between public, private, or non-profit organizations allow them to work together toward a shared objective and, as a result, offer a perfect scenario for innovation to emerge. Two research questions are explored in this chapter; how can innovation in public organizations be enhanced; and what is the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the development of innovations? We believe that these enquiries are timely and significant for both improving practice and developing theory in the public administration field. Next, we define the concept of innovation and pull together the different perspectives on innovation observed in public management. We go on to present a case study of the Catalan Blood and Tissue Bank, and the methodology we used to gather data. The subsequent discussion assesses the findings of the case study, and presents several propositions that will help practitioners and academics to understand better the role played by organizational arrangements and public managers in the creation of innovation. The argument put in this chapter is that whilst PPP can be a good vehicle to enhance innovation, they can also lead to increased costs and significant uncertainty, depending on the role played by public managers. We end with concluding remarks.
Idioma originalInglés
Título de la publicación alojadaRethinking public-private partnerships: Strategies for turbulent times
Páginas98-113
EstadoPublicada - 1 dic 2012

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