In our latest report “Public Service Innovation Networks (PSINs): Collaborating for Innovation and Value Creation”, included in the Deliverable ‘D6.1: 4th Empirical approach to value co-creation in public services: structural transformations’, Benoît Desmarchelier, Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj from the University of Lille, Center for Sociological and Economic Studies and Research (Clersé), address the issue of innovation in public services through the prism of the three main paradigms of public administration: The Traditional Public Administration (TPA) paradigm, the New Public Management (NPM) paradigm and the New Public Governance (NPG) paradigm.
The purpose of their research is to discuss how these paradigms can be associated with the several analytical perspectives that are generally used in Service Innovation Studies and most importantly, to further understand innovation. As the authors pinpoint “analytical and conceptual tools have often been unable to grasp the innovation dynamic in its full magnitude”.
Furthermore, Benoît Desmarchelier, Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj aim to show how the evolution of these paradigms is reflected, regarding:
- the nature of innovation, by a shift towards a broader concept of innovation (including non-technological innovation)
- its mode of organization, by a shift from a linear model of public service innovation to an interactive model, in which citizens occupy a central place in the process of innovation and in value co-creation.
In particular, Public Service Studies are based on these three paradigms, reflecting different concepts of the favoured coordination mode, the nature of the product, the mode of production organisation, and the mode of performance evaluation:
- Traditional Public Administration paradigm (TPA)
In the Traditional Public Administration paradigm, innovation is mostly associated with the industrial rationalization of production processes and the adoption of a technical system. This innovation activity, which actually excludes the user, is organized in a linear and top-down way, aiming to provide passive citizens with homogeneous quasi-products.
- New Public Management paradigm (NPM)
Industrialist perspectives dominate within the New Public Management paradigm, with innovation being organized in a linear and non-interactive way. The main novelty compared to TPA is the introduction of market management techniques in public services.
- New Public Governance paradigm (NPG)
The New Public Governance paradigm does not consider public service as a good, but as a service. As a result, it allows the integration of a broader concept of innovation, having both technological and no technological dimensions. NPG is currently being embraced within all developed countries, a fact that is fundamentally changing the perspective of innovation, by emphasizing the participation of citizens in innovation networks (Osborne, 2006, 2010; Voorberg et al., 2015; Mergel, 2018; Crosby et al., 2017; Torfing, 2019).
We must point out that the different paradigms of public administration actually raise in different terms the question of innovation in public services. The table below provides a summary of these terms, from the perspective of the nature of the innovation and its modes of organization.
The authors mention that the shift from TPA to NPM paradigm and then to NPG is “parallel to a shift from (industrial and commercial) assimilation to integration and demarcation and from an endogenous linear innovation model to a collaborative and network innovation model”.
You can read the whole report here.
About the report ‘Public Service Innovation Networks (PSINs): Collaborating for Innovation and Value Creation’
This report is part of “D6.1 4th Empirical approach to value co-creation in public services: structural transformations”. It seeks to define and characterise PSINs, from a structural point of view (sectors, actors, interaction, innovation) and a dynamic point of view (emergence, functioning, life cycle, performance) and to understand what distinguishes them from other types of innovation networks.