The Institutionalization of Public Innovation: Evidence from Indonesia

AuthorI Putu Yoga Bumi Pradana,Wahyudi Kumorotomo,Ely Susanto
Published date01 April 2023
Date01 April 2023
Subject MatterArticles
Administration & Society
2023, Vol. 55(4) 726 –751
© The Author(s) 2023
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/00953997231151438
The Institutionalization
of Public Innovation:
Evidence from Indonesia
I Putu Yoga Bumi Pradana1,2,
Wahyudi Kumorotomo1,
and Ely Susanto1
This study examines critical factors contributing to institutionalizing creative
ideas into a formal innovation and their difference in the regulatory-pillar
output of innovation, which public sector innovation academics (PSI) rarely
explore. Using multiple case study methods, this study interviewed 23
informants involved in four innovation cases in two local governments in
Indonesia. This study highlighted nine critical factors in institutionalizing public
innovation categorized into four dimensions: leadership, intraorganizational,
innovation candidate attributes, and external environment. This study’s
novel contribution lies in identifying critical factors shaping and the outputs
of institutionalization of public innovation.
public sector innovation, institutionalization, organizational routines, local
government, Indonesia
1Department of Public Policy and Management, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences,
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Nusa
Cendana, Kupang, Indonesia
Corresponding Author:
Ely Susanto, Department of Public Policy and Management, Faculty of Social and Political
Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Sosio Yustisio, No. 1 Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281,
1151438AAS0010.1177/00953997231151438Administration & SocietyPradana et al.
Pradana et al. 727
Public sector innovation (PSI) is primarily determined by organizational
capacity to generate and develop creative ideas into innovation prototypes
and integrate them into organizational routines, known as institutionalizing
innovation (Amabile, 1988; Hjelmar, 2021). Creativity that involves novelty
performance is the initial foundation for innovation candidates to be institu-
tionalized as implemented innovations (Amabile, 1988; Bason, 2010). Thus,
creativity and institutionalization in the innovation process are interrelated
and inescapable (Hjelmar, 2021; Sonenshein, 2016).
Despite being interrelated, the phases of generating and institutional-
izing creative ideas are two different things (Hjelmar, 2021; Sonenshein,
2016). Creativity produces a discontinuous change, while institutional-
ization makes these changes a normal routine of an organization to endure
a long time (Cobian & Ramos, 2021; Hjelmar, 2021). Also, many scholars
such as Cinar et al. (2019, 2021) and Hjelmar (2021) argue that the criti-
cal phase for innovation realization is not only the phase of how to gener-
ate creativity as a foundation of innovation prototypes but also the stage
of how institutionalized innovation prototypes become implemented
Although the phase of institutionalization of innovation prototypes is
critical to the success of the innovation producing process, there is very
little research on this issue (Bernier et al., 2015; Cinar et al., 2019; Pradana
et al., 2022). Many studies have addressed producing PSI, such as
Damanpour and Schneider (2006), Salge (2011), Walker (2013), and
Hartley and Rashman (2018). Yet they have specific limitations. The
research fails to distinguish between the phases of generating and institu-
tionalizing creative ideas, despite the view that PSI studies need to investi-
gate each stage of the innovation process individually to develop
comprehensive PSI theory. Many scholars argue that each phase has differ-
ent characteristics (see Buchheim et al., 2020; Cinar et al., 2019; De Vries
et al., 2016; Pradana et al., 2022). Second, existing investigations do not
discuss the process and output of innovation institutionalization. Third,
such studies have been conducted in developed-western countries. These
limitations underline the issue of institutionalization of innovation as a
noteworthy area for further progress in PSI scholarship, particularly in
developing countries in Asia (Bernier et al., 2015; Hjelmar, 2021; van der
Wal & Demircioglu, 2020).
To address this research gap in the PSI literature and respond to calls from
Bernier et al. (2015), De Vries et al. (2016), and van Der Wal and Demircioglu
(2020), this study will examine two questions:

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