Innovations in the Public Sector: A Systematic Review and Future Research Agenda

Hanna Vries, Victor Bekkers, LG Tummers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


In the public administration literature there has been increasing attention to innovation, due to for instance New Public Management (NPM), budget constraints of states and societal problems like ageing. However, enquiry is mainly based on conceptual or normative articles and books, thereby lacking an evidence-based approach. Based on a systematic review of the literature in the period 1990-2013 this article synthesizes empirical publications on public sector innovation - linking innovation as a process and innovation as an outcome. The articles are analyzed based on the themes of the definitions of innovations, objectives, types, influential factors to the innovation process (including the adoption and diffusion stage) and outcomes. We further identified whether the studies referred to certain policy fields as well as their employed methods. The research shows that influential factors related to both the organizational, environmental and employee level as well as innovation characteristics should be taken into account. Our findings concentrate on the huge variety in the field, which points to the very fragmented nature of public innovation. We propose an agenda for the study of public sector innovation that address various methodological, theoretical and empirical gaps. Keywords: • Systematic review • Public innovation • Public sector
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2014
EventIRSPM conference - Ottawa
Duration: 9 Apr 201411 Apr 2014


ConferenceIRSPM conference

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