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The challenge for senior managers in the public sector is to provide incentives and support to call forth more innovation," according to Sandford Borins, Professor of Public Management, University of Toronto, in his recent report, The Challenge of Innovating in Government. Part of that challenge, he says, is in creating an innovative organization and environment that encourage innovation. He cites the lack of financial rewards, the political environment, stringent agency controls, and public domain of public sector intellectual property as major barriers to creating an innovative organization in the public sector.
The report - a combination of two different perspectives on public management innovation, the organization, and the individual innovator - is based on research and surveys of over 300 Federal, State, and local government reformers who received awards for their innovations. Award winning managers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the Departments of Labor, Defense, and Housing and Urban Development participated in the survey.
The report defines the characteristics of an innovative organization and analyzes how several public sector organizations overcame obstacles to innovation. The report also provides recommendations and practical advice for public administrators to use in recognizing and rewarding individual and group innovators and for creating innovative organizations. Recommendations for promoting innovation include:
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