XClose

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Home
Menu

Innovation bureaucracies: How agile stability creates the entrepreneurial state

Innovation thumbnail image

20 December 2019

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) Working Paper

Ref: IIPP WP 2019-12
Innovation bureaucracies: How agile stability creates the entrepreneurial state (PDF, 347KB)

Rainer Kattel
Professor of Innovation and Public Governance,
UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Wolfgang Drechsler
Honorary Professor, UCL Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose
Professor of Governance,
Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

Erkki Karo
Associate Professor of Science and Technology Policy,
Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

Abstract

In this paper, we offer to redefine what entrepreneurial states are: these are states that are capable of unleashing innovations, and wealth resulting from those innovations, and of maintaining socio-political stability at the same time. Innovation bureaucracies are constellations of public organisations that deliver such agile stability. Such balancing acts make public bureaucracies unique in how they work, succeed and fail. The paper looks at the historical evolution of innovation bureaucracy by focusing on public organisations dealing with knowledge and technology, economic development and growth. We briefly show how agility and stability are delivered through starkly different bureaucratic organisations; hence, what matters for capacity and capabilities are not individual organisations, but organisational configurations and how they evolve.