Collaborative innovation: A Viable Alternative to Market Competition and Organizational Entrepreneurship

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There are growing pressures for the public sector to be more innovative but considerable disagreement about how to achieve it. This article uses institutional and organizational analysis to compare three major public innovation strategies. The article confronts the myth that the market-driven private sector is more innovative than the public sector by showing that both sectors have a number of drivers of as well as barriers to innovation, some of which are similar, while others are sector specific. The article then systematically analyzes three strategies for innovation: New Public Management, which emphasizes market competition; the neo-Weberian state, which emphasizes organizational entrepreneurship; and collaborative governance, which emphasizes multiactor engagement across organizations in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. The authors conclude that the choice of strategies for enhancing public innovation is contingent rather than absolute. Some contingencies for each strategy are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)821-830
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • public sector

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