Innovation in American Government: Challenges, Opportunities, and Dilemmas

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Brookings Institution Press, Dec 1, 2010 - Political Science - 394 pages
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Innovation does happen—even in government! Despite all the news about government scandals and failures, public officials are innovative. This book analyzes numerous examples of ingenious problem solving—in education in California, in the Department of Juvenile Justice in New York City, in government operations in Minnesota, in human service programs across the country. All organizations, both public and private, need innovation, but making innovation work in government is a greater challenge than doing so in business. This book identifies a number of dilemmas that complicate the process of innovating in American government. For example, there is the "trust dilemma": Innovation may be necessary to establish public faith in the ability of government agencies to perform, but before the public grants agencies a license to be truly innovative, it needs to be convinced that these same agencies have the ability to perform. The contributors to this book analyze a number of issues raised by the task of innovation, including: Who is responsible for innovating? How can innovative individuals and teams be held accountable? What kinds of organizational arrangements beget the most innovation? How can innovation be fostered in agencies devoted to routinization? How should innovative ideas be disseminated? And what exactly is an "innovation" anyway? The contributors gathered data for this book from winners and finalists in the Ford Foundation's Innovations Awards program, as well as from other innovators and innovations. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Babak J. Armajani, Michael Barzelay, W. Lance Bennett, Paul Berman, Richard F. Elmore, Robert M. Entman, Lee S. Friedman, Thomas N. Gilmore, Olivia Golden, James Krantz, Laurence E. Lynn Jr., Mark H. Moore, Beryl Nelson, Ellen Schall, Malcolm Sparrow, William Spelman, Deborah A. Stone, and Marc D. Zegans.
 

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Contents

The Dilemmas of Innovation in American Government
3
Bureaucratic Innovation Democratic Accountability and Political Incentives
38
Innovation and Public Management Notes from the State House and City Hall
68
INNOVATION AND ORGANIZATION
81
Innovation and the Public Interest Insights from the Private Sector
83
The Dilemma of the Modern Public Manager Satisfying the Virtues of Scientific and Innovative Management
104
Innovation in the Concept of Government Operations A New Paradigm for Staff Agencies
119
Innovation in Public Sector Human Services Programs The Implications of Innovation by Groping Along
146
State Innovation in Health Policy
219
The Paradox of Innovation in Education Cycles of Reform and the Resilience of Teaching
246
Innovations in Policing From Production Lines to Jobs Shops
274
IMPLEMENTING INNOVATION
299
Resolving the Dilemmas of Ad Hoc Processes Parallel Processes as Scaffolding
301
Replication Adapt or Fail
319
Public Sector Innovations and Their Diffusion Economic Tools and Managerial Tasks
332
Notes from a Reflective Practitioner of Innovation
360

INNOVATION AND THE MEDIA
175
Why Government Innovation Is Not News The View from the Newsroom
177
Mass Media and Policy Innovation Opportunities and Constraints for Public Management
202
INNOVATION IN POLICY FIELDS
217
Contributors
378
Index
383
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