Innovation through implementation of a quality improvement method : A finnish public-sector case
Mättö, Toni (2019). Innovation through implementation of a quality improvement method : A finnish public-sector case. The TQM Journal, 31 (6), 987-1002. DOI: 10.1108/TQM-12-2018-0193
Published inThe TQM Journal
© Toni Mättö. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effectiveness of a quality improvement method in driving innovation in the public sector. The study expands on the concept of innovation and analyses the types and usefulness of the innovations observed. Design/methodology/approach: The study utilizes an action research approach. The aim of the quality improvement method introduced is to generate innovations enhancing efficiency. An interventionist research method is required to produce the findings. Data collection methods include a preliminary question sheet, interview, workshops, observation and the examination of other material concerning the case organization. Findings: The study supports the notion that innovations created with a quality improvement method can be more oriented towards process improvement, particularly in the public sector. Further, when the method enables professionals from different functions to participate in the process, the innovations created can be more comprehensively designed. Innovations can be classified according to their degree of novelty, type, resource consumption and the projected outcome. A project follow-up makes it possible to compare the projected outcome of the innovation against its actual outcome. Practical implications: The method applied could be a viable option for practitioners considering public sector quality improvement and innovation capacity building. The paper provides guidelines for prioritizing innovations in terms of their resource consumption and usefulness. Originality/value: Integrating quality improvement with innovation generation as a potential efficiency source for public-sector organizations has received relatively little research attention. Further, the paper provides a categorization for innovations in the public sector that provides guidelines for prioritizing innovations. ...
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