How professionals perceive types of risk in public service innovation: Reports from Copenhagen municipality

Krista Timeus, Lykke Margot Ricard

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning


The paper addresses two questions; what do professionals working in the public administration understand by ‘risk’ in relation to their work on innovation?; and how do these professionals understand their own role in managing risks of innovation? The paper takes an inductive approach and focuses on individuals, namely, professionals in Copenhagen municipality working on public services innovation. Such innovation includes new services or new methods of service delivery. Although all types of innovation include some risk, in public services, risks are exacerbated by the vulnerability of many users dependent on the state (such as children, elderly, people with disabilities), and intense media and political attention.Thus, most of the discussion in the paper focuses on innovations that somehow involve users. This is in contrast to, for example, an organizational innovation that mainly affects workers in the administration.
Copenhagen municipality was chosen as an appropriate case because in recent years, it has explicitly pursued an innovation strategy. Denmark and Copenhagen have respectively scored highly in two ‘innovation indexes’: the European Union innovation scoreboard and the Innovative Cities Index. In the last five years, Copenhagen municipality has implemented programmes and partnerships for innovation, especially in social services, such as a new ‘innovation house’ to coordinate the municipality’s innovation strategy across all administrative departments. This context makes it a suitable case to study how public professionals perceive and manage types of risk in innovation.
Publikationsdato2 okt. 2015
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2 okt. 2015
BegivenhedPublic service innovation and the delivery of effective public services conference - National University of Public Service, Budapest, Ungarn
Varighed: 15 okt. 201517 okt. 2015


KonferencePublic service innovation and the delivery of effective public services conference
LokationNational University of Public Service


  • Offentlig innovation
  • offentlig administration
  • offentlig ledelse
  • offentlig leder
  • risk governance
  • risk management
  • risk assessment

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