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INNOVATION, PUBLIC POLICY AND PUBLIC SERVICES DELIVERY IN THE UK. THE WORD THAT WOULD BE KING?

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Abstract

This paper explores the dialogue about innovation in public services currently found within public policy and creates an interaction between research and practice about its strengths and limitations. It argues that this dialogue is a flawed one, often both at odds with the existing evidence and lacking a holistic understanding of the nature of innovation and its distinctive policy and managerial challenges. It therefore synthesizes existing research to challenge current public policy thinking about the role and determinants of innovation in public services. It concludes by offering five lessons towards effective policy-making and implementation that would provide a more sophisticated and evidence-based approach to the encouragement and sustenance of public service innovation – and four key areas for further research.

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