Nordic Journal of Social Research 2021-10-05T00:00:00+02:00 Anne Sigfrid Grønseth Open Journal Systems <p>The Nordic Journal of Social Research (NJSR) is a multidisciplinary, open access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes high quality papers from social, cultural, political and economic research in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It presents new empirical data, and endeavours to advance theoretical development and/or enhance discussion of policy implications. More specifically, the journal publishes articles that examine social issues in one of the Nordic countries, compare such issues among Nordic countries, or offer comparisons of the Nordic countries with other parts of the world. The overarching objective is to enhance our understanding of the social processes and values that govern the welfare state and the course of everyday life. This includes tensions in securing viability of welfare structures and services, social integration, diversity and mobility, identity politics, policy development and innovation, life-span opportunities and security, and inequality, among other topics. A core aim is to facilitate a window for engaging the Nordic societies and Nordic researchers with the larger global world and international scholarship.</p> Introduction to Special Issue Public sector Innovation - Conceptual and Methodological Implications 2020-06-08T12:49:17+02:00 Maria Røhnebæk Ann Karin Tennås Holmen <p>This is the introduction to the Special Issue: Public sector Innovation - Conceptual and methodological implications. </p> <p>Guest Editors: Ann Karin Tennås Holmen (UiS), Maria Røhnebæk (INN)</p> 2021-12-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Røhnebæk , Ann Karin Tennås Holmen The relationship between research and innovation in the public sector – an analysis of five cases from labour and welfare services 2021-02-22T17:20:42+01:00 Magnus Gulbrandsen Gry Cecilie Høiland <p>Many public agencies promote renewal in the public sector through projects that require a productive combination of research and innovation activities. However, the role of research in innovation processes is a neglected theme in the public sector innovation literature. We address this gap through an analysis of five cases from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. We find few examples of innovations based directly on research, but several examples of research on innovations and on more complex co-evolutionary processes of the two activities. Research seems to be particularly important for the diffusion and scaling up of innovations. We find that research has an impact on innovation in later phases of the innovation process through the formalisation of practice-based and unsystematic knowledge, codification of experiences, and legitimation to ensure political support and funding. This new conceptualisation contributes to the public sector innovation literature and may help improve policies that set up a rather limited role for research.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Magnus Guldbrandsen, Gry Cecilie Høiland Conceptualising public sector innovation: Introducing the lens of the epistemological, pragmatic and normative dimensions 2021-03-04T09:28:16+01:00 Luise Li Langergaard <p>Innovation is a relatively new concept in the public sector, and there is currently no broad agreement regarding how to understand and conceptualise it. This article assumes that a central role for research is to critically scrutinise and discuss what research does—or could do—when applying the concept of public sector innovation, especially because innovation has become a powerful organising metaphor for policy and practice. The article initiates a meta-conceptual inquiry and discussion of public sector innovation as a research concept, suggesting a method of conceptual clarification for future research by breaking the concept down into different dimensions. Methodologically, the article conducts a meta-conceptual analysis and inquiry into research positions and discussions in public sector innovation, thus reflecting the academic activity/enterprise of conceptualising. By discussing selected literature from the public sector innovation field, three conceptual dimensions emerge: epistemological, pragmatic and normative dimensions. These dimensions refer to questions about what kind of knowledge the concept of public sector innovation represents, what its pragmatic or practical implications are and which normative or value dimensions the concept implies. Finally, the concluding discussion highlights questions for research(ers) to address in future reflections on the conceptualisation of public sector innovation.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Luise Li Langergaard Towards a practice-based approach to public innovation – Apollonian and Dionysian practice-approaches 2021-02-22T17:15:03+01:00 Lars Fuglsang <p>This paper discusses how a practice-based approach to public innovation can provide an alternative, critical means of looking at public innovation. It unravels two ways practices can exist in relation to public innovation: Apollonian and Dionysian practice approaches. The Apollonian practice-approach is purposeful, speaking of the actors’ plans and interests and the rules of the game. In contrast, the Dionysian is a more spontaneous, bricolage-like approach to innovation that gathers people in an open space of innovation. Given these contrasting approaches further illustrated through two case vignettes, the paper argues that public innovation transpires not only through purposeful practices and plans but also more contextual public services changes. Research needs to capture both of these approaches and explore their impact on innovation. The paper concludes by outlining a research strategy for investigating practice-approaches in public service innovation and how a practice-based approach can add to our understanding of public service innovation.</p> <p>This article belongs to the Special Issue Public sector Innovation - Conceptual and Methodological Implications</p> <p>Guest Editors: Ann Karin Tennås Holmen (University of Stavanger) and Maria Røhnebæk (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences)</p> 2021-10-05T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Fuglsang Lars