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The development of Australia's innovation strategy: can the public sector system assess new policy frameworks?

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Marsh, I and Edwards, L (2008) The development of Australia's innovation strategy: can the public sector system assess new policy frameworks? Discussion Paper. Australian Business Foundation, Sydney.

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Abstract

In recent years, innovation has been seen as an increasingly important base for economic dynamism and growth and thus has risen in priority as a concern for governments. But approaches vary significantly between states. This partly reflects the complexity of the concept of innovation, which has come to involve two quite distinct concerns. One covers the development of science-based industries (like biotechnology or nanotechnology) and the other the upgrading of established industries through the dissemination of knowledge (Smith and West, 2005). Differences between states also reflect normative, technical and other issues concerning such factors as industry structure, research capabilities, circumstances, opportunities, and the role of government. Innovation as a capability that yields benefits for the economy is one issue. No less important is a capacity for innovation in public policy: indeed this might be regarded as a special instance of the more general theme. Policy systems and processes need to be able to identify and assess strategic challenges. The public sector is an especially challenging context for such assessments. The well documented hazard of lock-in in large complex organisations is especially salient to a governmental policy system with its multiple interconnections and dispersed and divided authorities. Interdependence, on the one hand, between political and administrative structures and, on the other, between administrative organisations and agencies augments the potential for conflict. This can work perversely to suppress attention to issues or to constrain the range of solutions (March, 1999).

Item Type: Report (Discussion Paper)
Publisher: Australian Business Foundation
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2010 03:19
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:12
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/10185
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