Examining workplace innovation as a driver for innovation in the public sector: evidence from Australia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Workplace innovation informs an organisation’s innovation culture, which indicates innovation does not function in isolation. It depends on the interaction between numerous actors, entities, and external stakeholders. In this chapter, the authors claim that from an innovation systems perspective, barriers to innovation, leadership characteristics, and organisational climate are activities that influence workplace innovation processes. These determinants are not independent of each other but instead support, reinforce, or offset one another. This chapter employs a cross-sectional study that analyses secondary data within Australian policy documents to determine the critical factors that stimulate or hinder workplace innovation across six Australian states and two territory governments during the Industry 4.0 Revolution. The findings reveal that the Australian Federal government has invested a remarkable amount of resources in promoting innovation in the public sector, as evidenced in the government initiatives. The systematic in-depth investigation reveals the dynamics of workplace innovation, which involves the following three major themes and their constituents. The first theme embraces barriers to innovation, which consists of staff resistance; severe rules and regulations; risks; old organisational models; lack of resources and support; lack of measurement tools; and budget and funding. The second theme addresses leadership characteristics, which is comprised of supportive risk-taker; passionate, practical and persistent; leading by example; influential and inspirational; decisiveness, courtesy and respect; and decision-making characteristics. The third theme is organisational climate, which consists of a culture of sharing; policies; organisation’s size and structure; labs; and initiatives. This chapter heightens the practitioners’ level of awareness regarding the complexities of the dynamics of innovation. And how this complexity should be linked to an equally intricate organisational climate and leadership approaches so as to minimise the potential barriers to innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Workplace Innovation
Subtitle of host publicationThe Challenge of Disruptive Transitions
EditorsPeter R.A. Oeij, Steven Dhondt, Adela J. McMurray
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781800881945
ISBN (Print)9781800881938
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023

Publication series

NameElgar Research Agendas
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing


  • workplace innovation
  • public sector innovation
  • Australia


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