Open Innovation in the Public Sector

  • Leonardo Ferreira de OliveiraEmail author
  • Carlos Denner dos Santos Junior
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


Innovation in the Public Sector has been seen as a way to respond the current challenges posed to society. However, the literature shows that little attention has been given to link public sector innovation to existing theories based on system and complexity. This essay aims to contribute to filling this gap with the development of a theoretical framework focused on the relation of organizational capabilities and public value generation in a systemic context. We discuss that the concept of Dynamic Capabilities - Sensing, Seizing and Transforming - is adherent to analyze public sector innovation, especially open innovation in government. In this context, the development of these organizational capabilities contributes to public value creation and can be analyzed through System Dynamics. We argue that these theoretical fields can be joined to elucidate complex and non-linear relationships related to open innovation in the public sector, making possible to scholars and policymakers to understand aspects of the systemic environment that can increase or decrease the creation of public value to providers, users, and beneficiaries.


Public sector innovation Open innovation Public value Dynamic capabilities System Dynamics 



This work was supported by the Decanato de Pós-graduação – University of Brasília - DPG/UnB and by the Superior Court of Elections – Brazil.


  1. 1.
    Chesbrough, H.W.: Open Innovation : The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mergel, I., Desouza, K.: Implementing open innovation in the public sector: the case of Public Adm. Rev. 73, 882–890 (2013)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Szkuta, K., Pizzicannella, R., Osimo, D.: Collaborative approaches to public sector innovation: a scoping study. Telecommun. Policy 38, 558–567 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yun, J.J., Won, D., Hwang, B., Kang, J., Kim, D.: Analysing and simulating the effects of open innovation policies: application of the results to Cambodia. Sci. Public Policy 42 (2015).
  5. 5.
    Kankanhalli, A., Zuiderwijk, A., Tayi, G.K.: Open innovation in the public sector: a research agenda. Gov. Inf. Q. 34, 84–89 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Teece, D., Pisano, G., Shuen, A.: Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strateg. Manag. J. 18, 509–533 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wilden, R., Devinney, T.M., Dowling, G.R.: The architecture of dynamic capability research identifying the building blocks of a configurational approach. Acad. Manag. Ann. 10, 997–1076 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alford, J., O’Flynn, J.: Making sense of public value: concepts, critiques and emergent meanings. Int. J. Public Adm. 32, 171–191 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hartley, J.: Public value through innovation and improvement. In: Benington, J., Moore, M. (eds.) Public Value: Theory and Practice, pp. 171–184. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hartley, J., Alford, J., Knies, E., Douglas, S.: Towards an empirical research agenda for public value theory. Public Manag. Rev. 1–16 (2016).
  11. 11.
    Moore, M.: Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government. Harvard University Press, Boston (1995)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Benington, J.: From private choice to public value? In: Search public value – beyond private choice, pp. 1–36. Palgrave (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Williams, I., Shearer, H.: Appraising public value: past, present and futures. Public Adm. 89, 1367–1384 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stoker, G.: Public value management: a new narrative for networked governance? Am. Rev. Public Adm. 36, 41–57 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Alford, J., Hughes, O.: Public value pragmatism as the next phase of public management. Am. Rev. Public Adm. 38, 130–148 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Harrison, T.M., et al.: Open government and e-government: democratic challenges from a public value perspective. Inf. Polity 17, 83–97 (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bryson, J., Crosby, B., Bloomberg, L.: Public value governance: moving beyond traditional public administration and the new public management. Public Adm. Rev. 74, 445–456 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    De Tuya, M., Cook, M., Sutherland, M.K., Luna-Reyes, L.F.: Information requirements to create public value: sharing and opening data to address urban blight. Transform. Gov. People Process Policy 11, 79–98 (2017)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Freeman, R.E.: Strategic management: a stakeholder approach, vol. 1 (1984) Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Freeman, R.E., Reed, D.: Stockholders and stakeholders: a new perspective on corporate governance. Calif. Manag. Rev. 25, 88–106 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mitchell, R.K., Agle, B.R., Wood, D.J.: Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: defining the principle of who and what really counts. Acad. Manag. 22, 853–886 (1997)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Vos, J.F.J., Achterkamp, M.C.: Stakeholder identification in innovation projects: going beyond classification. Eur. J. Innov. Manag. 9, 161–178 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Troshani, I., Doolin, B.: Innovation diffusion: a stakeholder and social network view. In: ECIS, vol. 10, pp. 176–200 (2006)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    De Oliveira, L.F., Dos Santos Júnior, C.D.: The two sides of the innovation coin. In: 22nd Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2016): Surfing the IT Innovation, pp. 1–19 (2016)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zuiderwijk, A., Janssen, M.: The negative effects of open government data - investigating the dark side of open data. In: Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - dg.o 2014, pp. 147–152. ACM Press (2014).
  26. 26.
    Janssen, M., Charalabidis, Y., Zuiderwijk, A.: Benefits, adoption barriers and myths of open data and open government. Inf. Syst. Manag. 29, 258–268 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gonzalez-Zapata, F., Heeks, R.: The multiple meanings of open government data: understanding different stakeholders and their perspectives. Gov. Inf. Q. 32, 441–452 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dawes, S.S., Vidiasova, L., Parkhimovich, O.: Planning and designing open government data programs: an ecosystem approach. Gov. Inf. Q. 33, 15–27 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Oliveira, L.F., Santos Jr., C.D.: Public value innovation: a theoretical framework based on system dynamics. In: Zuiderwijk, A., Hinnant, C.C. (eds.) Proceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, dg.o 2018, Delft, Netherlands, May 30–June 1, 2018. ACM Press, New York (2018). Article 4, 9 pages.
  30. 30.
    Pang, M.S., Lee, G., Delone, W.H.: In public sector organisations: a public-value management perspective. J. Inf. Technol. 29, 187–205 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Teece, D. Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strateg. Manag. J. 1350, 1319–1350 (2007)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Rhodes, M.L.: Innovation in complex public service systems. In: Osborne, S.P., Brown, L. (eds.) Handbook of Innovation in Public Services. Edward Elgar Publishing (2013)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hartley, J.: Innovation in governance and public services: past and present. Public Money Manag. 25, 27–34 (2005)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hartley, J., Sørensen, E., Torfing, J.: Collaborative innovation: a viable alternative to market competition. Public Adm. Rev. 73, 821–830 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kuipers, B.S., et al.: The management of change in public organizations: a literature review. Public Adm. 92, 1–20 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    De Vries, H., Bekkers, V., Tummers, L.: Innovation in the public sector: a systematic review and future research agenda. Public Adm. 94, 146–166 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Moore, M., Hartley, J.: Innovations in governance. Public Manag. Rev. 10, 3–20 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kattel, R., et al.: Can we measure public sector innovation ? A literature review. LIPSE Work. Pap. 2–38 (2014) Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Walker, R.M.: An empirical evaluation of innovation types and organizational and environmental characteristics: towards a configuration framework. J. Public Adm. Res. Theory 18, 591–615 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mulgan, G. Ready or not? Taking innovation in the public sector seriously, pp. 1–37. Nesta (2007)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Dawes, S.S., Helbig, N.: Information strategies for open government: challenges and prospects for deriving public value from government transparency. LNCS (Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. including Subser. Lect. Notes Artif. Intell. Lect. Notes Bioinformatics), vol. 6228, pp. 50–60 (2010)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Meijer, R., Conradie, P., Choenni, S.: Reconciling contradictions of open data regarding transparency, privacy, security and trust. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 9, 32–44 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Meynhardt, T.: Public value inside: what is public value creation? Int. J. Public Adm. 32, 192–219 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Faria, C., Rehbein, M.: Open parliament policy applied to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. J. Legislative Stud. 22(4), 559–578 (2016).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Ferreira de Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carlos Denner dos Santos Junior
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BrasíliaBrasília, DFBrazil
  2. 2.Tandon School of EngineeringNew York UniversityBrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations