Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
19-AM-03: ST4.3 - Structural Transformations: Public-Private Innovation Networks and Social Innovation in Public Services
Wednesday, 19/Jun/2019:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Faridah Djellal, University of Lille, CNRS UMR 8019
Session Chair: camal gallouj, Universite de Paris 13 Sorbonne Cité
Location: Amphi Painlevé (Polytechnique)

Session Abstract

This track is part of a European project H2020 entitled "Understanding value co-creation in public services for transforming European public administrations". This track is devoted to a new network form that is developing within the New Public Governance paradigm, namely “Public Service Innovation Networks” (PSINs). PSINs are multi-agent collaborative arrangements that develop within public services (sectoral perspective) or within public service (functional perspective), spontaneously or at the instigation of (local, national or European) public policies. They mobilize a variable number of public and private agents, especially citizens, to co-produce innovations and ultimately contribute to value co-creation. This track aims to deepen the definition and description of PSINs, especially in comparison with other known network forms, and to examine in particular how PSINs are formed and function to co-create, more or less efficiently, value in public service (s) through innovation.

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Social innovation networks and territorial dynamics

Céline Merlin-Brogniart

Clersé-CNRS (UMR 8019), France


The aim of this research is to analyse the innovation dynamics of multi-agent innovation networks that develop within public services or create public service. These innovation networks involve a variable number of public and private agents, in order to co-produce social innovation.


If the innovation dynamic of non-technological innovation (and social innovation), as invisible innovations, have long remained marginal in the field of innovation studies, this innovation gap has been filled with studies with a specific focus on services (Gallouj, Djellal, 2015; Djellal, Gallouj, 2018), and more recently, with studies taking into account the innovation dynamics in public services (Windrum, Koch, 2008; Djellal et al., 2013; De Vries et al. 2015; Osborne and Brown, 2013; Miles, 2013, Desmarchelier et al 2018). This literature will form a part of the analytical framework of this study.

Literature Gap

Public Service Innovation Networks for Social Innovation (PSINSIs) still remain poorly explored. Several literatures (second part of the analytical framework) refer to the case of PSINSIs (Hillier et al, 2004, Richez-Battesti et al., 2012, Gallois et al., 2016), but there is currently no synthesis of these studies.

Research Questions

The innovation dynamics of PSINSIs are significantly different from those of traditional innovation networks. PSINSIs needs the coproduction of each agent to produce social innovation. The participation of public actors may be necessary to the development of the network. The choice of the territory is important for the innovation dynamics


An in-depth qualitative study of three local experiments was carried out. That study consisted of a series of on-site semi-structured interviews conducted between july 2018 and februar 2019 with the different agents of each project. The interviews consisted of analyzing the role and influence of the internal and external actors on the project, the different forms of innovations created, the territorial dynamics.

Empirical Material

The case study examined are the project “zero long-term unemployed territory”, the Method of action for the integration of healthcare and support services in the field of Autonomy and the « Saillysienne Factory ».


These case studies highlight various forms of innovation, as well as specific PSINSIs drivers and barriers : the importance of existing territorial networks, as well as the management method (as a co-creation process) are important to implement this kind of projects.

Another result is that given the difficulties related to territories, this kind of project could be extended to other interested communities but not generalized to all territories. The nature and size of the chosen territory is an essential element for the success of the project.

Contribution to Scholarship

This research has been carried out within the H2020 research project Co-VAL’ (‘Understanding value co-creation in public services for transforming European public administrations).

The study of these social innovation networks is important to improve the understanding of the territorial dynamics they generate, or on which they depend. This study will enrich the literature on PSINSIs.

Contribution to Practice

These results may help the ongoing experiments to enrich their innovation and territorial dynamics. For the future experiment, it may help decision makers in choosing which territories to focus on.


This study explores an innovation challenge which is to better understand social innovation created by public-private innovation networks.


Desmarchelier B., Djellal F., Gallouj, F. (2018), Services in innovation networks and innovation networks in services : from traditional innovation networks (TINS) to public service innovation networks (PSINS), XXVIII International RESER Conference

De Vries H., Bekkers V., Tummers L. (2015), “Innovation in the public sector: a systematic review and future research agenda”, Public Administration, 94, p. 146-166.

Djellal F., Gallouj F., Miles I. (2013), “Two decades of research on innovation in services: Which place for public services?”, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 27, December, p. 98-117.

Djellal F., Gallouj F. (2018), Fifteen advances in service Innovation Studies, in Scupola A., Fuglsang L. (eds), Integrated Crossroads of Service, Innovation and Experience Research-Emerging and Established Trends, Edward Elgar Publisher (forthcoming).

Gallois, F., Lecat C., Nieddu M., (2016), Mobilisation territoriale et mise en réseau des acteurs dédiés à la production d’innovation sociale : Une étude de cas, Géographie, Économie, Société 18 (2016) 359-385

Gallouj F., Djellal F. (2015), Services and Innovation, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics series, Edward Elgar Publishers.014).

Hillier J, Moulaert F., Nussbauer J. (2004) ., « Trois essais sur le rôle de l'innovation sociale dans le développement territorial », Géographie, économie, société 2004/2 (Vol. 6), p. 129-152.

Miles I. (2013), Public Service Innovation: What messages from the collision of Innovation Studies and Services Research, in Osborne S.P. and Brown L. (eds) Handbook of Innovation and Change in Public Sector Services, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA, Edward Elgar, p. 72-90.

Osborne S.P., Brown L. (eds) (2013) Handbook of Innovation in Public Services, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Richez-Battesti, N., Petrella, F., Vallade, D. (2012), L’innovation sociale : une notion aux usages pluriels ? Quels enjeux et défis pour l’analyse ? Innovations, 38(2), 15-36.

Somme D, Trouve H, Passadori Y, Corvez A, Jeandel C, Bloch Ma, Ruault G, Dupont O, De Stampa M. (2014), Prise de position de la Société française de gériatrie et gérontologie sur le concept d’intégration : texte intégral Deuxième partie. Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil 2014; 12(2) :123-30 doi:10.1684/pnv.2014.0464

Windrum P., Koch P. (eds) (2008), Innovation in public sector services. Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Management, Cheltenham and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Institutional Shaping of User-Led Loudspeaker Invention and Network Diffusion at the BBC.

Paul Windrum

University of Nottingham Business School, United Kingdom


Public sector innovation and the creation of supporting public-private networks.

The BBC is a large public corporation, internationally recognised as an exemplar of public service broadcasting (Habermas, 1989). This paper focuses on radical innovations in loudspeaker design by the BBC between the 1950s and the mid-1980s.


The objective function of a public sector organisation is not that of profit maximisation. hence, traditional economics approaches (e.g. conduct-structure-performance) cannot help us understand why public organizations engage with, and lead, innovation over long time periods.

The paper puts forward an alternative platform for understanding innovation by public sector organisations. It is based on a critical synthesis of user-led innovation (von Hippel, 1986) and key institutional concepts of institutional values, networks, and cognitive frames from institutional research (North, 1990; Scott, 2001).

The paper uses institutional theory as a lens to make visible the objective function of the BBC, and shows how this objective function shapes its innovation decisions, from experimentation with new materials for speaker cones to building a supporting innovation network with UK firms. By sharing its inventions, the BBC gave UK loudspeaker firms an international competitive advantage, and it supported spin-out firms.

Literature Gap

A large gap in understanding why and how public organisations become leaders in innovation, and why they build up their own supporting public-private innovation networks (Windrum, 2014).

I show how the BBC's Reithian institutional values dove it loudspeaker R&D and construct a public-private innovation network.

Research Questions

How did the institutional values of the BBC lead it to develop its own R&D capabilities and to construct a supporting public-private network for the production of its loudspeaker designs?

Why did the BBC licence rather than patent its designs?

Why did support spin-out companies set up by its employees?


Qualitative and conceptual approach using historical research methods to critically reconstruct user-led innovation literature and synthesize this with institutional theory to create an alternative platform for understanding innovation by public sector organisations.

Empirical Material

Research draws upon unreleased internal BBC management committee documentation accessed at BBC archives, reports and other internal BBC documentation (such as technical BBC white papers) which are now publicly available, and interviews with leading loudspeaker companies.

A variety of different sources have been used in order to gain rich detail, and evidence has been triangulated in order to gain an understanding that is deeper than that possible using one source.

Key information sources used are:

• internal BBC Research Papers written by members of the BBC Research Department who designed BBC LS loudspeakers. Originally written for an internal audience within the BBC, these Research Papers are now publicly available through the BBC website.

• Articles written by members of the BBC Research Department published journals and hifi magazine articles in order to disseminate their findings to the wider public.

• Archive material collected at the BBC Written Archive in Caversham, e.g. minutes of the Studio Engineering Committee (Sound) Sub-Committee on Loudspeakers, letters between Sub-Committee members, plus internal reports and letters across the BBC.

• Examination of the USA and UK patents taken out by Chartwell and Harbeth.

• Face-to-face interviews with surviving members of BBC and private sector firms.


The BBC is a public broadcasting organisation driven by a distinct set of ‘Reithian’ institutional values – i.e. to ‘educate, inform, and entertain’. This drives its search for ‘quality’ in all aspects of broadcasting – in programme making and in delivery.

Loudspeakers are a key component for monitoring and controlling sound quality along the signal chain.

Market failure (i.e. inaccurate sound quality sound, not durable, and not long-lived loudspeakers made by private firms) led the BBC to design and its own loudspeakers.

However the cognitive frame of the BBC prevented it from diversifying and setting up its own manufacturing operation. It therefore built up an innovation network with UK firms, and it led this network through its R&D expertise.

The BBC did not patent because this would place costs on firms within the innovation network. It was against patents taken out by firms for the same reason - rents paid reduce profits and threaten firm survival.

The BBC licenced its designs at low rates as this enabled UK firms to gain profitability (strengthening the network) through the sales of BBC designs.

It took a positive attitude to spin-out firms because these expanded and deepened the resources and skills within the network.

Contribution to Scholarship

The research provides a new platform for understanding the rationale for radical innovation by public sector organisations. This identifies the objective function of the public organisation, rooted in its institutional goals, cognitive frame, and its field of operations.

This institutional objective function defines what it legitimate and what not legitimate, in terms of innovative activity and organizational scope - for the BBC this meant the development of internal R&D design capabilities and expertise but not manufacturing capabilities as these were deemed outside its scope as a public broadcaster..

The acceptable alternative was the fostering and organisation of supportive public-private network through which to specify and develop the production of parts, and whole speakers for commercial sale

Within this context, we can understand the different approach and rational taken by the BBC to intellectual property protection, and to spin-out firms set up by BBC employees.

Contribution to Practice

The research provides a platform for public sector innovation and its management – one that acknowledges the legitimacy of radical innovation by public sector organizations to meet their mandates (objective functions), and the need for an alternative to the current approach to creation and protection of intellectual property (IP) by public sector organizations.


The drivers of public sector innovation and the strategic organisation of public-private innovation networks is directly relevant to the overall theme of the conference, and specifically the paper is directly relevant to Track 4.3 "Structural Transformations: Public-Private Innovation Networks and Social Innovation”.


Habermas, J. 1989. Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Polity.

North, D.C. 1990 Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scott, W.R. 2001. Institutions and Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

von Hippel, E. 1988. The Sources of Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Windrum, P. 2014. ‘Third sector organizations and the co-production of health innovations’, Management Decision, 52 (6): 1046 - 1056.

Public service innovation networks (PSINs): an instrument for collaborative innovation and value co-creation in public service(s)

Benoît Desmarchelier, Faridah Djellal, Faïz Gallouj

University of Lille, France


Over the past decades, paradigm shifts in public administration have brought the issue of innovation to the forefront. Initially considered as incongruous in public services, this issue has become central, with particular attention paid to both the nature of the innovation and the modalities of its implementation (especially networks).


This work is based on two strands of the literature, that it seeks to reconcile: services (innovation) studies (Gallouj and Djellal, 2015, 2018 ; Scupola and Fuglsang, 2018; Lusch and Vargo, 2006) and public management studies (Osborne, 2006; 2010). Service Innovation Studies are based on the shift from an assimilation perspective (that considers services as similar to goods and favours a Goods-Dominant Logic) to a demarcation perspective (focusing on the differences between goods and services in a Service-Dominant Logic) and finally to an integration perspective (seeking to build same analytical frameworks for goods and services). Public management studies, for their part, are based on a shift from traditional public management, to new public management and then to new public governance. ;These paradigmatic shifts converge towards a broad an open definition of innovation and a focus on collaborative or networked modes of innovation.

Literature Gap

While traditional innovation networks are well-know there’s a gap regarding innovation networks in which (public or private) services are the main target of the innovation activity. These networks that involve various partners including citizens in the co-creation of innovation and value deserve more attention from scholars and public manager alike

Research Questions

This article is devoted to the analysis of a new network form that is developing within the New Public Governance paradigm, namely “Public Service Innovation Networks” (PSINs). PSINs are multi-agent collaborative arrangements that develop within public service(s), spontaneously or at the instigation of local, national or European public policies.


This contribution is based on a review of the literature and on empirical work carried out under two European funded projects: ServPPIN and COVAL. ServPPIN: The Contribution of Public and Private Services to European Growth and Welfare, and the Role of Public-Private Innovation Networks, FP7-SSH project 2008-2011. COVAL: Understanding value co-creation in public services for transforming European public administrations, H2020 project 2017-2020.

These include a certain number of case studies of innovation networks in public and private services (see below).

Empirical Material

The contribution is based on a data base of 30 case studies of PSINs established within the EU funded ServPPIN and COVAL projects (see above). The case studies were selected in various countries (including France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, UK…) and in various social fields (including elderly issues, education, minorities, long-term unemployment, environmental protection). The cases were built on the following criteria: type of innovation/type of innovation process, types of innovation network (mode of formation, mode of functioning evolution in time and space), drivers/barriers, institutional factors, impact /performance. The information was gathered on the basis of around 100 interviews with PSINs stakeholders.


“Public Service Innovation Networks” (PSINs) are multi-agent collaborative arrangements that develop within public services (sectoral perspective) or public service (functional perspective), spontaneously or at the instigation of (local, national or European) public policies. They bring into play a variable number of public and private agents, especially citizens, in order to co-produce innovations and ultimately contribute to the co-creation of value. We envisage in this contribution to deepen the definition and description of PSINs, especially in comparison with other known network forms, including Traditional Innovation Networks (TINs) and Public Private Innovation Networks in Services (PPINSs). Our goal is also to examine in particular how PSINs are formed and function in order to co-create, more or less effectively, value in public service(s) through innovation.

Contribution to Scholarship

This contribution will discuss the concept of innovation networks and the place that is given to services and especially public services in them. The aim is to show how, in parallel with the shift from visible innovation to invisible innovation, services in general and public services in particular are gradually moving from a peripheral to a central position in the innovation networks. This work is therefore a contribution to the tertiarization or servitization of the concept of innovation network. One way to reinforce the theoretical basis of PSINs might be, not only to analyse them autonomously, but to explicitly include them in the mapping and discussion of innovation systems (whether local, regional, national, social or sectoral).

Contribution to Practice

The contribution provides a thorough static and dynamic mapping of PSINs which can be used to identify obstacles and drivers to their formation and evolution and to their innovation activity.

The contribution seeks to also provide a multicriteria framework for value and performance measurement.


This contribution perfectly fits with track 4.3 entitled « Structural Transformations: public-private innovation networks and social innovation in public services ».


Gallouj F., Djellal F. (2015), Services and Innovation, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics series, Edward Elgar Publishers.

Gallouj F., Djellal F. (2018) (eds), A Research Agenda for Service Innovation, Edward Elgar Publishers.

Lusch, R., Vargo, S. (2006), “Service-Dominant Logic: reactions, reflections and refinements”, Marketing Theory, 6 (3), 281-288.

Osborne, S.P. (2006), “The New Public Governance?”, Public Management Review, 8 (3), 377-388.

Osborne, S.P. (ed.) (2010), The New Public Governance? London: Routledge.

Scupola A., Fuglsang L. (2018) (eds), Integrated Crossroads of Service, Innovation and Experience Research-Emerging and Established Trends, Edward Elgar Publisher

Mapping Social Innovations: Konwledge Intensive Social Services (KISS) as Systems Builders

Benoît Desmarchelier, Faridah Djellal, Faïz Gallouj

Université de Lille, France


Social innovations are pervasive, but paradoxically largely under-studied. In this context, we want to show that they are often the result of innovation networks, and we plan to identify their similarities and distinctive features with respect to traditional innovation networks.


Social innovations entertain an ambiguous relationship with networks: on one hand, one of their main outcomes is to generate (not for profit) relationships between agents, but on the other hand they are easily attributed to single innovators, like Muhammad Yunnus in the case of the micro-credit (Mulgan, 2006; 2007). We argue that this ambiguity reflects insufficient investigation of the process of social innovation, both at the empirical and theoretical levels (Cajaiba-Santana, 2014).

In this context, our objective in this paper is to fill-in this gap by exploring the structure of existing networks aiming at producing social innovations. We distinguish these networks based on a classification of their main actors, whether they are manufacturing organizations, public or market services, or emanations of the third sector (Desmarchelier, Djellal, Gallouj, 2018).

Literature Gap

Social innovations are rarely perceived as resulting from networks of innovators (Mulgan, 2006; 2007). We consider this conception as revealing a lack of empirical and theoretical investigation.

Research Questions

Our objective is to collect empirical data about links between social innovators in order to re-construct their networks of interactions. This will be a first step carachterising the production process of social innovations.


Empirical research on networks often relies on face-to-face interviews (Giuliani, 2013). This strategy offers the advantage of allowing the exploration of informal ties between agents, but it has the drawback of limiting analyses to small-scale networks with no guaranty of completeness. For these reasons, we follow the steps of Newman (2001) by building networks of formal links based on public data

Empirical Material

Actors with objectives to improve social and environmental conditions - like foundations or associations of citizens - often participate to dozens of innovative projects. We plan to use websites of such organizations for building temporal matrices or networks of interactions, that we will then classify depending on the type of central actors (public sector, citizen/third sector, of private sector). After such classification, we will study their development patterns and topological properties, and compare them with what is known for traditional innovation networks. A similar methodology in the case of traditional innovation networks can be found in Desmarchelier and Zhang (2018).


From the data already collected, it seems that social innovation networks are much more dependent on central actors than traditional innovation networks, which suggests a certain level of fragility (Albert et al., 2000). Also, they seem to display lower degrees of ssortativitiy, hence they are more open to newcomers.

Contribution to Scholarship

A better understanding of the properties of networks aiming at social innovations can be important for explaining the production process of these innovations, as well as their success or failures in the diffusion phase.

Contribution to Practice

Assessing for networks fragility to nodes removal can helpknowing which networks to support with public funding.


Track 4.3 is about "public-private innovation networks and social innovation in public services". Except the notion of public service, all these themes are present in the paper we propose.


Albert R., Jeong H., Barabási A.L. (2000), “Error and attack tolerance of complex networks”, Nature, 406, pp. 378–382

Cajaiba-Santana G. (2014), “Social innovation: Moving the field forward. A conceptual framework”, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 82, pp. 42-51.

Desmarchelier B., Djellal F., Gallouj F. (2018), “Services in innovation networks and innovation networks in services: from traditional innovation networks (TINS) to public service innovation networks (PSINS)”, 28th RESER International Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 20-22 Sept.

Desmarchelier B., Zhang L. (2018), “Innovation networks and cluster dynamics”, Annals of Regional Science, 61, pp. 553-578.

Giuliani E. (2013), “Network dynamics in regional clusters: evidence from chile”, Research Policy, 42, pp. 1406-1419.

Mulgan G. (2006), “The Process of Social Innovation”, Innovations: technology, governance, globalization, 1(2), pp. 145-162.

Mulgan G., Tucker S., Ali R., Senders B. (2007), “Social Innovation. What it is, why it matters and how it can be accelerated”, Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Working Paper.

Newman .E.J. (2001), “The structure of scientific collaboration networks”, PNAS, 98(2), pp. 404-409.

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