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  • 1.
    Palm, Klas
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för kvalitetsteknik, maskinteknik och matematik.
    Lilja, Johan
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för kvalitetsteknik, maskinteknik och matematik.
    Wiklund, Håkan
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för kvalitetsteknik, maskinteknik och matematik.
    Agencies, it’s Time to Innovate!: Exploring the current understanding of the Swedish government’s call for innovation2015Inngår i: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, E-ISSN 1756-6703, Vol. 7, nr 1, s. 34-49Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    Innovation is currently at the top of many agendas worldwide: not only in the private sector, but also when it comes to increasing quality, efficiency, and effectiveness in public administration. InSweden, this is reflected in the recent call from the Government for innovation in public management. However, innovation has not traditionally occurred to any significant extent on the strategic level of Swedish public management. Furthermore, governmental administration is a complex system in need of coordination and alignment for this new call to be effectively realized in practice.  

     

    The purpose of this paper is hence to explore the phenomenon of innovation in the current Swedish governmental administration system. More specifically, the paper explores the current understanding within the system of what innovation is, as well as why and how it should be achieved.

     

    Methodology/approach This study has been based on a qualitative approach with a case consisting of three embedded units: the Government itself, a ministry and a government agency. The data have been collected from documents and interviews.

     

    Findings

    The study shows that there is currently a notable disparity when it comes to how aspects of innovation are understood at different levels within the Swedish governmental administration system. Furthermore, the recent business development to increase the standardization of work processes is perceived as having created poorer preconditions for working with innovations.

     

    Practical implications

    The results highlight critical areas of disparity and possibilities for improvement towards a shared understanding and aligned innovation actions within the system.

     

    Originality/value

    The articlecontributes knowledgeabout the current understanding of innovation in the Swedish governmental administration system.

  • 2.
    Palm, Klas
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för kvalitetsteknik, maskinteknik och matematik.
    Lilja, Johan
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för kvalitetsteknik, maskinteknik och matematik.
    Wiklund, Håkan
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för kvalitetsteknik, maskinteknik och matematik.
    The challenge of integrating innovation and quality management practice2016Inngår i: Total quality management and business excellence (Online), ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 27, nr 1-2, s. 34-47Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Following in the footsteps of ‘New Public Management’, where quality management and quality control have become widely implemented concepts among public authorities, there is now a subsequent government demand to also be innovative. However, integrating and achieving a balance between improved quality and increased innovation is not an easy task. Previous research indicates a complex and ambiguous relation, raising questions as to how to optimally combine these two approaches organisationally, operationally, and culturally. Is there an ‘edge of chaos’ where there is maximal flexibility for innovation while maintaining sufficient order for quality? The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential integration of innovation and quality management practice within the public sector. The paper is based on a multiple case study design, confronted with existing literature, and shows that the current quality management practice is perceived as being related to standardisation, leading to a decrease in the space for innovation. Second, that there is an expectation and belief that innovation and quality management can be handled in parallel and reinforce each other instead of being mutually detrimental.

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