e-Government and patterns of innovation in the public sector
DE SAULLES, MARTIN (2007) e-Government and patterns of innovation in the public sector In: Proceedings of the 7th European conference on e-Government, 21-22 Jun 2007, The Hague, Netherlands, 21-22 June 2007.
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Patterns of industrial innovation and the relationship between innovation and economic development have been a growing area of interest for economists for the last 60 years. The focus of most of this research has been on innovation in industrial settings where the development of new technologies and manufacturing processes have provided researchers with a rich source of data for analysis. More recently, there has been a growing acceptance that more research needs to be undertaken on innovation in the service sector, particularly since services account for approximately two thirds of the gross domestic product (GDP) in developed economies. The adoption and widespread use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) by service sector firms has been a focus of study for much of this research. Richard Barras’s notion of a Reverse Product Cycle operating in the service sector has been useful in helping to understand some of the differences in the dynamics of innovation between manufacturing and service firms. However, much less attention has been paid to innovation in the public sector. The development of e-government programmes and initiatives across a number of developed economies as well as the more widespread deployment of ICTs across the public sector offers some interesting potential for research. This paper examines a range of innovations across the UK public sector and considers the extent to which existing concepts of the innovation process are appropriate in such a setting. Evidence is drawn from a range of case studies emerging from the EU Publin Project and several UK National Audit Organisation studies. It is argued that while Barras’s Reverse Product Cycle offers a useful framework within which to consider such innovations, there may be limitations when it is applied to public sector bodies.
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