Politicization, Bureaucratic Legalism, and Innovative Attitudes in the Public Sector
Article by Victor Lapuente & Kohei Suzuki.
July, 17 2020 | Editorial office
First published: March 23, 2020 in Public Administration Review: https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13175
Previous studies have identified institutional, organizational, and individual factors that promote innovation in public organizations. Yet they have overlooked how the type of public administration—and the type of administrators—is associated with innovative attitudes. Using two large, unique comparative data sets on public bureaucracies and public managers, this article examines how bureaucratic politicization and legalistic features are associated with senior public managers’ attitudes toward innovation in 19 European countries. Results of multilevel analysis indicate that the bureaucratic politicization of an administration and the law background of public managers matter. Public managers working in politicized administrations and those whose education includes a law degree exhibit lower pro‐innovation attitudes (i.e., receptiveness to new ideas and creative solutions and change orientation).