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Innovation Types In Public Sector Organizations: A Systematic Review Of The Literature

Laurin Buchheim, Alexander Krieger, Sarah Crider Arndt
Published 2019 · Business

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When analyzing the process of organizational innovation, it is often argued that a distinction between different types of innovation is necessary to gain meaningful insights on what drives and impedes innovation and how organizations may best use innovation to stay competitive. While this holds as much for public sector organizations as it does for private businesses, the former do not seek to maximize profits but rather serve the common good, which may affect the types of innovation implemented. This article systematically reviews the literature on innovation types in the context of public sector organizations. Categorizing the multitude of typologies used by scholars, it aggregates findings on antecedents, outcomes, and combinative effects of product/service, process, governance, and paradigm innovations and derives management suggestions. Results indicate that research so far has focused on product/service and process innovations and their organizational antecedents. The variety of individual factors analyzed makes it difficult to extract generalizable findings and may hinder theory-building. Management needs to pay close attention to the organization’s innovation characteristics. Future research can profit from standardized definitions and more diversified data.
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