chapter  4
20 Pages



This chapter explores a special class of innovations – innovations in governance – and develops an analytical schema for characterizing and evaluating them. To date, the innovation literature has focused primarily on the private rather than on the public sector, and on innovations which improve organizational performance through product and process innovations rather than on public sector innovations which seek to improve social performance through reorganizations of cross-sector decision-making, financing and production systems. On the other hand, the governance literature has focused on social coordination but has not drawn on the innovation literature. The chapter uses four case studies illustratively to argue that innovations in governance deserve greater theoretical attention. Further, it argues that five inter-related characteristics distinguish public sector innovations in governance from private-sector product and process innovations. Innovations in governance: go beyond organizational boundaries to create network-based financing, decision-making and production systems; tap new pools of resources; exploit government’s capacity to shape private rights and responsibilities; redistribute the right to define and judge value; and should be evaluated in terms of the degree to which they promote justice and the development of a society as well as by their efficiency and effectiveness in achieving collectively established goals.