Complexity of Innovation in the Public Sector: A Workgroup-Level Analysis of Related Factors and Outcomes

A.V. Arundel, N. Torugsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Complex innovation incorporates more than one innovation type. Using the number of dimensions of the ‘most significant innovation’ implemented by each public employee’s workgroup as a proxy for innovation complexity, this study explores factors that are associated with complexity and examines how complexity affects innovation outcomes. Employing a sample of 4,369 Australian Government employees, we find that the more complex the innovation, the greater the number of barriers a workgroup has to face in its implementation. A broader (but selective) range of idea sources and a more decentralized workplace where both individual and team creativity is encouraged increase the likelihood of implementing complex innovations. Innovation complexity is positively correlated with the variety of beneficial outcomes, suggesting both policy and management interest in supporting complex innovation in the public sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-416
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Management Review
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • Innovation complexity
  • barriers
  • idea search
  • workplace creativity
  • innovation outcomes
  • COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  • EMPIRICAL-ANALYSIS
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • ADOPTION
  • CREATIVITY
  • GOVERNMENT
  • MODEL
  • PERFORMANCE
  • GOVERNANCE
  • MANAGEMENT

Cite this