For public service organizations (PSOs) it is essential to be able to simultaneously optimize and innovate policies, processes and services. This article explores how PSOs shape these dual practices by examining optimization and innovation practices in eight Dutch regional water authorities (RWAs) using focus groups. It uncovers mutually reinforcing differences in culture, strategy and management leading to different ambidextrous configurations. In low ambidextrous RWAs a legalistic taskorientation goes along with a transactional management style and focus on optimization only. In high ambidextrous RWAs a societal value-orientation, integrative strategies, and a more transformational management style lead to more embedded innovation practices.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Public sector, ambidexterity, practices, innovation, optimization
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2019.1588354, hdl.handle.net/1765/115675
Journal Public Management Review: an international journal of research and theory
Citation
Gieske, J.M.J, Duijn, M, & van Buuren, A. (2019). Ambidextrous practices in public service organizations. Public Management Review: an international journal of research and theory, 1–24. doi:10.1080/14719037.2019.1588354