Innovation governance in the public sector

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Abstract

The growth in the use of Information Technologies in the private sector calls for the public sector to anticipate. The public sector digitalisation is expected to improve execution of public tasks and services, and increase confidence of citizens and businesses in new innovative solutions. However, public sector innovation on digitalisation is not seen as a priority, innovation is too risky, and the public sector has no incentive due to absent competitors. Nevertheless, without innovation, public tasks and services become inadequate, resulting in stagnated and eventually decreased effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. The need for innovation approaches; the inconsistency in sustaining innovation by the public sector; and the unprecedented pace of technological, demographic and social changes, require a systematic approach. The research question answered in this thesis is therefore: “How to govern innovation in the public sector to enhance public sector digitalisation?” The thesis starts with a literature review on innovation (on different types, barriers and drivers, management, and governance), then explains the methodology (qualitative research, data collection through judgment sampling) and where the research was carried out: the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Hereafter the results are presented as: the definition and view on public sector innovation, barriers and drivers of public sector innovation, and the development of a governance framework for promoting innovation in the public sector. In the following chapter an initial evaluation is presented, followed by the discussion and conclusion answering the main research question, recommendations, and suggestions for further research. The concluding remark on the thesis shows that the final framework could be seen as a first step in setting up a governance for public sector innovation.