In search of a model for sustainable innovation in welfare services
Summary, in Swedish
Katja Lindqvist & Ulrika Westrup, Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University, Swedenkatja [dot] lindqvist [at] ism [dot] lu [dot] se, ulrika [dot] westrup [at] ism [dot] lu [dot] se
In search of a model for sustainable innovation in welfare services n municipal welfare services is there seldom time for innovation, since front-line civil servants are overburdened with work tasks (Travis et al., 2016). At the same time, municipal welfare services, such as urgent municipal child support services, are urgently in need of new ways of structuring their operations and processes in order to support target groups (Skolverket, 2017; Socialstyrelsen, 2017a). Overall, both governments and researchers have identified a need for innovation in public service organisations due to changes towards increased complexity and unpredictability in society, the limits of bureaucratic organisation, and budgetary restrictions (Alves, 2013; Fuglsang and Sundbo, 2016; SKL, 2017; Socialstyrelsen, 2017b).
In public administration and management research, there has been an increasing acknowledgement of the centrality of collaborative innovation as a way to address these challenges (Kickert et al., 1997; Bekkers et al., 2011; Sørensen and Torfing, 2011). Many studies of innovation in public service delivery focus on factors contributing to successful implementation of innovations, and not on the outcome (Voorberg, Bekkers and Tummers, 2015). Knowledge of factors that facilitate and hamper collaborative innovation is of course important from a public management and governance perspective, but does this type of research help public service organisations to become more innovative?In public management research, it has been proposed that the service-dominant logic has a potential of improving innovation in the welfare sector (e.g., Osborne et al., 2015; Osborne et al., 2013; Quist and Fransson, 2014; Radnor et al., 2014). According to a service-dominant logic, the innovative elements and innovation capabilities emphasize constantly finding the best possible solutions to facilitate the customer or end user. This means that service logic and innovation are close to each other as concepts (Lusch och Vargo, 2014; Skålén, 2016; Quist and Fransson, 2014). Less, if anything, has to date been published on empirical studies of implementation of a service-dominant logic in welfare services (Osborne et al., 2015).
This paper explores opportunities and challenges for sustainable innovation in operative welfare services through structural and processual management support. More precisely, we will investigate whether service dominant logic can support managers in urgent child support services in the effort to stimulate innovation and provide structures for implementing innovation in a sustainable way. Through this, we want to contribute to the body of knowledge on the implementability of a service-dominant logic in municipal social services, more specifically by testing its usability as a tool for guiding employees and managers in welfare service organisations in developing methods and models for sustainable innovation. The paper also contributes theoretically to the debate on the potential of the service-dominant logic framework in the public sector. This contribution consists of an elaboration of a definition of the service-dominant logic framework in relation to a management/governance approach to public sector innovation. This in turn is done through a discussion of points of reference and divergence between service-dominant logic literature and public sector innovation literature, in particular relating to welfare services.
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- Institutionen för tjänstevetenskap
- Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Public and Social Innovation Conference (PUBSIC)
2017-11-15 - 2017-11-17