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INNO-VOINTI 2010-2013

Managing innovations and well-being in the public sector

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), the BIT Research Centre of Aalto University, and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) have launched a collaborative research project regarding the renewal of public sector services. The project treats personnel well-being as a part of innovation activities, and aims to support employee-driven, well-being-promoting innovation management practice.

Challenges of innovativeness and well-being

The public services sector faces great challenges due to economical fluctuations and demographic ageing. The public sector's costs must be cut in order to maintain the quality of its services. The interaction between clients and service workers is central to services development, and service workers play a crucial role in development. Innovations are essential for finding new models and solutions for producing public services, but their inefficient implementation and slow distribution present problems in public sector innovation. At the same time, the sector faces the challenges of improving productivity and maintaining personnel well-being and motivation. To date, however, the improvement of services and personnel well-being have been separate leadership issues.

Our research project finds ways in which to combine the processes of innovation management, personnel management and personnel well-being. The latest innovation research presents several frameworks for this: user-driven innovation, open innovation networks, rapidly implemented innovation processes, and the wide, active participation of various stakeholders.

Research cases and methods

The project focuses on seven public organizations in Finland, representing various fields of public services, e.g. municipal organizations, state-owned companies, and civil service departments. The cases were chosen for this study due to their advancement in innovation-related practices. The research will be conducted in the following organizations:

  • HUS-Servis (administrative support services for the hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa)

  • Agrifood Research Finland (MTT)

  • Palmia (catering, property maintenance, cleaning, and security services for the City of Helsinki)

  • Finnish Tax Administration

  • City of Hämeenlinna / Health and well-being services

  • City of Vantaa / Education, culture and recreation section

  • City of Oulu / Social and health services

We will use various qualitative research methods, for example the Developmental Impact Evaluation method. A network for mutual learning between case organizations will also be created.

Results

As a result of the research project, the service providers, clients and case organization personnel will gain new insights into the benefits of innovation management. The project will also provide recommendations on how to develop innovation activities, processes and management, while simultaneously improving productivity and well-being.

The project will be conducted by a consortium from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), the BIT Research Centre of Aalto University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The results and recommendations will be disseminated in Finnish work life by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the State Treasury, the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra), the Finnish Competition Authority, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education.

We will update news from Inno-Wellness to http://inno-vointi.fi/