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Complexity of innovation in the public sector: A workgroup-level analysis of related factors and outcomes


Torugsa, N and Arundel, A, Complexity of innovation in the public sector: A workgroup-level analysis of related factors and outcomes, Public Management Review, 18, (3) pp. 392-416. ISSN 1471-9037 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor and Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/14719037.2014.984626


Complex innovation incorporates more than one innovation type. Using the number of dimensions of the ‘most significant innovation’ implemented by each public employee’s workgroup as a proxy for innovation complexity, this study explores factors that are associated with complexity and examines how complexity affects innovation outcomes. Employing a sample of 4,369 Australian Government employees, we find that the more complex the innovation, the greater the number of barriers a workgroup has to face in its implementation. A broader (but selective) range of idea sources and a more decentralized workplace where both individual and team creativity is encouraged increase the likelihood of implementing complex innovations. Innovation complexity is positively correlated with the variety of beneficial outcomes, suggesting both policy and management interest in supporting complex innovation in the public sector.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:public sector innovation, most significant innovation (MSI), workgroup, idea sources, barriers, workplace creativity
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Innovation management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Public sector productivity
UTAS Author:Torugsa, N (Dr Ann Torugsa)
UTAS Author:Arundel, A (Professor Anthony Arundel)
ID Code:98762
Year Published:2016 (online first 2014)
Web of Science® Times Cited:70
Deposited By:Australian Innovation Research Centre
Deposited On:2015-03-02
Last Modified:2018-03-16
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