Public Management Bulletin #21

Drivers of Innovation: Environmental Stress and External Pressures

Monday, April 19, 2021

Unprecedented environmental transformation during the 2020 pandemic has forced public organizations be innovative at very short notice. Local governments in North Carolina had to change the way they provided services to citizens, rethink their internal systems, and adopt new policies and systems. In this bulletin, we focus on how and to what extent environmental stress contributes to innovation adoption, and what lessons can be learned by local governments. We use the example of adopting CompStat, a popular innovation in policing, from 2000 to 2013. Although our example does not include the 2020 pandemic, this study does offer guidance on innovation adoption during periods of environmental stress.

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