The hidden assumptions behind public sector innovation: Implications for the health sector

By Owen Boukamel, Yves Emery

This article aims to identify, and discuss the hidden assumptions of the literature on innovation of public organizations, with a special focus on studies about the health sector. Based on a systematic literature review (98 studies) we identified thirteen hidden assumptions on public sector innovation. These assumptions concern the desirability of public innovation and its legitimacy (the why of innovation), its nature (the what), its context (the where and when), and its methods of development (how and with whom). Our study shows that these assumptions are used in most studies, whether they are devoted to the health sector or not. However, the health sector has specificities that question the relevance of these assumptions. For this reason, the hidden assumptions are discussed in the light of this sector. JEL Codes: H190

  • Innovation
  • Public Sector
  • Hidden Assumptions
  • Health
  • Critical Approach
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