This paper presents the first empirical test of innovation type and diffusion in local government. Five types of innovations – one product, three process and one ancillary – were tested in a multivariate model that included environmental, organizational and diffusion variables. The research was conducted on 120 upper tier English local authorities using a multiple informant survey instrument. Results indicate that adoption of innovation is both complex and contingent – different factors drive the diffusion of different types of innovation across upper tier English local government. These findings suggest that further research is required on the interactions of types of innovation in public organizations and that policy instruments developed to assist adoption need to be sensitive to variations between innovations.