Orla Mongey

Project title: Innovation in the Irish Public Sector

Name: Orla Mongey

Supervisors: Doireann O’Connor

Research question: To investigate Innovation in the Irish Public Sector

This research document provides an investigation into innovation in the Irish Public Sector (IPS). To facilitate this, a number of areas had to be studied first in order to understand the origins of innovation. These included research into entrepreneurship and also corporate entrepreneurship. These were investigated through the literature review.

This study investigates the role of innovation in the IPS. It researches innovative initiatives that currently exist in the public sector and the effect and implications of these initiatives on public sector staff. The study also highlights the elements that are necessary for innovation to be successful in a public sector organisation and also the challenges that public sector organisations face when implementing an innovation or innovative initiative. The research also includes management’s and staff’s perceptions of public sector organisations that they believe champions innovation.

The key findings of this study arose from interviews with management of public sector organisations and also from a survey completed by employees of the public sector organisations where interviews were conducted. A comparison of both the interview and survey was also carried out. The data uncovered showed that although innovation is important to the public sector leaders and management it fails to be supported by the public sector leaders and management. The findings also reveal that there are not enough efforts being made to reduce the challenges and barriers that prevent innovation practices becoming the norm in the IPS.

There is limited research on the topic of innovation in the IPS and this thesis will be a valuable source of information on the topic. There are numerous changes that must be made for the progression of the IPS including the reduction of bureaucracy and organisations structure. There also has to be improved leadership from senior politicians and management. The amount of political influences into public sector organisations by politicians has to be monitored and restricted. The major findings from the research evolved from questions based on rewards and support. A new structure of both has to be established if the public sector is to fully commit to bringing innovation into public sector organisations.

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