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Dilemmas of policy innovation in the public sector: a case study of the National Innovation Summit


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Marsh, I and Edwards, L 2009 , 'Dilemmas of policy innovation in the public sector: a case study of the National Innovation Summit' , Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 68, No. 4 , pp. 399-413 , doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8500.2009.00647.x.

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Policy innovation is a significant challenge for the public sector. This article illustrates its
magnitude through a case study of the National Innovation Summit. The article concludes
that the Summit represented an elaborate process of search and engagement that sanctioned
an outcome that was, in most respects, largely pre-determined. Its outreach and deliberations
served the political purpose of mobilising industry and media attention and communicating
the government’s commitment. But there is no evidence that it exercised any substantive
influence on policy development. The obstacles confounding any other outcome are considerable.
Strategic thinking is inhibited by various organisational factors including lock-in to
a present successful strategy, the constraints on policy choices associated with multiple veto
points and the need to maintain medium term fiscal and policy discipline across a wide range
of agencies and claimants. The article explores ways these inhibitions might be overcome.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Marsh, I and Edwards, L
Keywords: National Innovation Summit, interest engagement, policy capabilities, policy strategy
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Public Administration
ISSN: 0313-6647
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.1467-8500.2009.00647.x
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