Social Innovation in Public Organisations: The Perspectives of Managers

  • João J. FerreiraEmail author
  • Cristina I. Fernandes
  • Valter R. M. Oliveira


The world today is not only becoming increasingly competitive but this competition is also increasingly intense and, for organisations, innovation emerges as one solution to the problems they face. Thus, innovation has attracted increased interest as the means to acquire and develop skills to address and/or inspire organisations in a globally competitive and economically uncertain environment. Furthermore, in such a competitive world, not even the public sector escapes the need to evolve towards providing better services and satisfying its citizens. However, just what is the need to evaluate social innovation in public organisations? Is there the drive to compete and/or market share to conquer? Profits to achieve? The public sector has many points in common with the private sector with the goals in both sectors involving the raising of efficiency and quality levels and better satisfaction for customers. Thus, this research aims at studying social innovation in public organisations and understanding how social innovation can better the lives of citizens from the perspective of managers. As the data collection method, we applied a questionnaire based on the constructs and scales already validated by Vigoda-Gadot (Public Administration 86(2):307–329, 2008) before then analysing the results through recourse to PLS. The results identify how responsiveness and ethics and morals are important factors in the perceptions of innovation as perceived by citizens. In turn, the findings also demonstrate the importance of this capacity for innovation to the image of the public sector as well as the confidence and satisfaction of its citizens.


Social innovation Public organizations Manager perspectives Citizens Institutional theory 



The authors would like to thank to NECE – Research Unit in Business Sciences funded by the Multiannual Funding Programme of R&D Centres of FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, under the project «UID/GES/04630/2013».


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • João J. Ferreira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristina I. Fernandes
    • 1
  • Valter R. M. Oliveira
    • 2
  1. 1.Management and Economics DepartmentUniversity of Beira Interior and NECE – Research Unit in Business SciencesCovilhãPortugal
  2. 2.Management and Economics DepartmentUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

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