Innovation agents in the public sector: Applying champion and promotor theory to explore innovation in the Australian Public Service

Sarah Bankins, Bonnie Denness, Anton Kriz, Courtney Molloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Innovation is critical to organisational success and is a process steered, and potentially thwarted, by individuals. However, despite the importance of public sector innovation given the complexity of policy issues faced and the sector's specific contextual features, our understanding of innovation processes in government requires expansion. This study, using in-depth case analyses of three Australian Public Service agencies, focuses on understanding the ‘human component’ of the innovation process by drawing on both innovation champion and promotor theories to explore, through the lens of organisational power, how multiple human agents progress public sector innovations. The results highlight the key, and often tandem, roles of individuals at multiple organisational levels who work to inspire and motivate others to progress an innovation (champions) and those with specific power bases who help overcome organisational barriers to innovation (promotors).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122–137
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • innovation champions
  • innovation promotors
  • Australian Public Service
  • public sector innovation
  • organisational power

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