Innovation Research in Services IRIS

New article out: Making bottom-up and top-down processes meet in public innovation.


We just published a new article on managing innovation processes in public sector services. It bases on the Inno-Vointi project (2010-2013)

Saari, E., Lehtonen, M.H., Toivonen, M., (2015), Making bottom-up and top-down processes meet in public innovation, Service Industries Journal, DOI:10.1080/02642069.2015.1003369


Innovations in an organisation derive from multiple sources. In the public sector, users and the policy sphere provide important but often unconnected impulses for innovation. These impulses are transmitted to the organisation by grassroots employees who interact with users and managers who implement policy requirements. The paper examines the actors and activities that coordinate bottom-up and top-down initiatives and promote their development into innovations. It creates a theoretical framework that combines the views of employee-driven innovation and strategic reflexivity and supplements them with an analysis of coordination in innovation processes. The functioning of this framework is illustrated in the context of children's day care services. The results highlight the central role of middle managers and provide new knowledge regarding their ‘bridging’ activities in innovation. The adjustment of bottom-up and top-down processes requires the personal involvement of managers, and the creation of communication arenas, networks and mediating tools.

You can access the article at Taylor and Francis online through this link.

If you do not have your own subscription, you can grab a free author copy through this link. Available for the first 50 early birds.


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