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Passing the Buck? How Risk Behaviours Shape Collaborative Innovation

  • Krista Timeus
Chapter
Part of the Executive Politics and Governance book series (EXPOLGOV)

Abstract

Timeus analyses how public managers’ risk perceptions shape their willingness to pursue collaborative innovation. Through qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with public managers in Barcelona municipality, Timeus shows how they avoided collaboration in the design stage of innovation to limit the risk of losing control and authority over the innovation process. This risk-avoiding behaviour motivated public managers to limit collaboration to the implementation stages of innovation, mainly to transfer operational and financial risks to the private sector. Timeus’ analysis shows that public managers’ risk perceptions limit their willingness to collaborate precisely when collaboration can most benefit the innovation process: in the design stage. This helps explain why public managers often overlook or avoid opportunities to engage other actors in solving complex problems.

Keywords

Public sector innovation Collaborative innovation Risk perceptions Blame avoidance 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krista Timeus
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Public Governance, ESADE Business and Law SchoolBarcelonaSpain

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