Conceptualizing innovation management development through organizational learning in the public service: any lessons for developing states?

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The present economic realities, the effects of globalization, the thirst for innovation and the public’s demand for improved services have led many developing states to review their approaches to service delivery. Most public service managers and professionals spend most of their time dealing with the day-to-day pressures of delivering services, operating and reporting to senior managers, legislators and agencies. They have little or no time to think about innovation, which would ease the pressures and burdens of service delivery. The intention of this paper is to point out the fact that capacity building is the bedrock of new public management development. This paper proposes that innovation management could be used as a form of organizational learning capability in challenging the maze of diplomacy and negotiation with experienced multinational extractive industries for the benefit of developing states. This could be achieved through excellent public investments and nurturing capability, from which they execute effective innovation processes, leading to new service innovations and processes, and superior service performance results. To achieve this objective, extensive literature on innovation management and organizational learning was consulted and the need for future research. In trying to unpack the discussion in the paper, the New Public Management Theory (NPMT), which is a pro-private sectors human resources management is proposed, though other available theoretical positions are explored taking into consideration the lapses entrenched in NPMT.

Keywords: innovation, NPMT, learning culture, public management, developing states, development.
JEL Classification: O10

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