AuthorLee, Hakyeon
  1. Introduction

    The topic of innovation has received considerable attention from various sectors, particularly the business sector, because it is considered a core value that enables organizations to improve their competitive advantage, efficiency, and growth potential (Borins, 2002; Demircioglu, 2017; Ekval and Aroven, 1994; Howell and Higgins, 1990; Tushman and O'Reilly, 2002). Nonetheless, relatively little attention has been given to innovation in the public sector due to the distinctive characteristics of public organizations, such as high level of regulations, rigid conformity to formal rules, and the complex relationship between innovative activities and performance management (Demircioglu, 2017; Jaskyte, 2011; Salge and Vera, 2012). This recent change in research trends has been noted because many studies on public sector innovation have simultaneously been conducted in diverse areas. For example, many studies on public sector innovation have been conducted in the US and the UK. Public sector innovation research has also been receiving considerable attention in European countries and the Australian public sector (Bugge and Bloch, 2016; Demircioglu, 2021; Demircioglu and Audretsch, 2020; Torugsa and Arundel, 2016) where a wide variety of topics, including the conditions for innovation, job satisfaction, innovation factors, and the effects of innovation, have been discussed. This is very encouraging because most public sector innovations are heterogeneous (Demircioglu and Audretsch, 2020), which justifies the need for research on innovation in other areas.

    Additionally, both practitioner and academic communities have now recognized that public sector organizations should be innovative and maintain high standards of service. Many studies about public sector innovation have covered the subject of increasing pressure for central and local governments to be more effective, efficient, and responsive to resident demands to address the changing external environment, such as service provision and demographic pressures (Cinar, Trott and Simms, 2021; Meijer and Thaens, 2021; OECD, 2015; Ruijer and Meijer, 2020). This trend indicates the need for more innovation within public organizations, and more studies on innovation in public organizations should therefore be conducted. Innovation is not only essential for the competitive advantage and successful operation of public organizations but also for addressing various internal organizational issues. For instance, innovation plays an important role in economic development and competition in both the public and private sectors (Cefis and Marsili, 2006; Lee, Li and Jung, 2019; Park, Lee and Lee, 2003). Consequently, researchers and public officials need to understand both how public organizations can innovate and the processes that should be followed for public organizations to become innovative.

    In this sense, this research focuses specifically on the relationship between administrative and technological innovation. One of the main reasons for focusing on the relationship between administrative and technological innovation is that the adoption of innovation in public organizations is complex and diverse, depending on the type of innovation, such as technological, administrative, and process (Jaskyte, 2011). Specifically, many researchers have found that different types of innovation are not equally related to or affected by the same variables (Damanpour, 1988; Jaskyte and Kisieliene, 2006; Subramanian and Nilananta, 1996). In other words, the factors relating to innovation are driven at the personal, environmental, and organizational levels and have different impacts on the adoption of innovations. The main trend in innovation studies is that many researchers have analyzed the relationship between various organizational processes and structural characteristics (Damanpour, 1987; Kimberly and Evanisko, 1981; Wolfe, 1994). For instance, many studies have used centralization, specialization, complexity, administrative intensity, external and internal communication, and resources as variables for innovation. Structural factors relating to technological innovation are different from those of administrative innovation, and few studies have analyzed the relationship between administrative and technological innovation. In this sense, more research is needed to examine innovations from various angles in terms of organizational processes. Here, technological innovation is exemplified by the South Korean smart work project, which utilizes Smart Work Centers, video conferencing, teleworking, mobile working, and exclusive messengers (The Seoul Development Institute, 2012), whereas administrative innovation is defined as 'the implementation of a structure, procedure system, or process in the administrative core of an organization that is new to the prevailing organization practices' (Jaskyte, 2011, p. 78). Additionally, although many innovation studies have predominantly focused on structural factors (Jaskyte, 2011), adding to this, the current study also explores two environmental factors, namely leadership and organizational culture, as indirect variables of technological innovation.

    Accordingly, this study aims to contribute to the field of innovation by posing the following research questions: (1) How does administrative innovation affect technological innovation (smart work)? (2) How does administrative innovation affect organizational culture and leadership? (3) How do organizational culture and leadership influence technological innovation? In this study, the argument is that public organizations, by adopting administrative innovation, allow organizational culture and leadership to influence technological innovation.

  2. Literature review

    2.1. Innovation in public organizations

    The topic of innovation has received substantial academic attention because it is of paramount importance to private organizations, governments, leaders, and communities. The importance of the topic cannot be overemphasized (Moussa, McMurray and Muenjohn, 2018). Over the past several decades, interest in innovation in the public sector has increased for the quality of government services and improvements in the efficiency of organizations (Hartley, 2005; Osborne and Brown, 2013). Specifically, the trend of the main theme of innovation research has moved from private sector innovation to public sector innovation (Salge and Vera, 2012). Concurrently, the topic of public sector innovation has increasingly become a prominent issue in administrative and political fields because the topic of innovation is widely recognized as a sound driver of public sector competitive power (Damanpour and Schneider, 2009; Walker, 2006). Indeed, innovation such as reform and change are essential for all organizations (Moussa, McMurray and Muenjohn, 2018). For example, innovation in an organization is crucial because it is closely related to economic growth, employment growth, development entrepreneurship, and competitive advantage. Innovation has an impact on other fields (Audretsch and Link, 2019; Link and Siegel, 2007; Suzuki and Demirciolgu, 2019). Despite the considerable attention given to the topic of innovation, it is difficult to find consensus on the definition of innovation (Damanpour, 1991). The reason is that, as with most important notions in the social sciences, there are diverse paradigms and interpretations (Moussa, McMurray and Muenjohn, 2018). These issues are not unique to the private sector, but there is less of a common understanding of innovation and management theories that deal with the innovation process in relation to public organizations (Salge and Vera, 2012). Further, previous studies have not helped improve our understanding of the concept of innovation. Specifically, the results of research on the subject are unclear and inconclusive because there is neither widespread acceptance of a definition of innovation nor an accepted method of its measurement. This provides the main rationale for selecting this topic: the theoretical framework and analysis of this study could contribute to the available theoretical evidence and enable researchers to better understand the concept of innovation.

    To better understand the concept of innovation, it is necessary to compare innovation with the adoption of innovation because there is a tendency for some researchers to confuse the terms and to use them interchangeably (Mohr, 1969). Nevertheless, the two concepts have undeniable similarities (Damanpour, 1991). Through the adoption of innovation, organizations aim to improve their performance and effectiveness (Damanpour, 1991). The adoption of innovation is thus the process that leads to an organization's assimilation of a practice, product, or process (Walker, 2008). According to Rogers (1995), two steps are involved in adopting innovation. The first step is the decision to adopt, which is called initiation. The second step comprises implementation and includes the innovation process. From this perspective, it is clear that the adoption of innovation does not guarantee organizational innovation. Based on this logical structure, studies divided organization innovation into two parts: administrative innovation and technological innovation. This is because administrative innovation indicates a decision for efficient government through the adoption of new rules, and technological innovation means the implementation of an innovative process for the ultimate objective.

    Innovation, on the other hand, can be defined as the means to change an organization (Hage, 1980). For example, Mohr (1969, p. 112) defined innovation as 'the successful introduction into an applied situation of means or ends that are new to that situation', while Walker (2008) described it as the development or use of innovative ideas or behaviors. Damanpour (1991) also tried to establish the concept of innovation. In his research...

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