Purpose – Place-based innovation has become central to meeting the complex demands on contemporary public administration. Among the difficulties in introducing new practices is the gap between political authorisation and administrative implementation. This paper aims to use the emergence of new forms of place-based public administration involved in the (re)introduction of community-based ideas, practices and instruments into public administration to demonstrate how authorising and operationalising innovation can be addressed in practice.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews placed-based public administration initiatives in Victoria, Australia over a decade.
Findings – To be effective public sector innovations need both a powerful authorising environment and also a framework for operationalisation. As with private sector innovation new ideas in the public sector often need new institutional arrangements and instruments to enable their effective take up and diffusion. These new arrangements often require the "creative destruction" of previous ways of thinking and working.
Originality/value – This paper contains evidence of new place-based approaches to public management, that could be of interest to other states and countries.