Different bodies of literature deal with the question what constitutes innovation capacity of organizations and of inter-organizational collaborative arrangements or networks. These different streams highlight different aspects of innovation capacity. Within the literature on business administration, the issue of ambidexterity is emphasized: the capacity to combine both explorative and exploitative activities. Within the literature on collaboration and governance, connecting or boundary spanning activities are underlined as being vital for innovation. And finally, within the literature on innovation and creativity, the capability to absorb new information, to learn and to alter existing insights is highlighted. In this paper we bring these different insights together and conceptualize the concept of innovative capacity. We distinguish three layers of determinants of innovative capacity: actors, organizations and networks. Per level we distinguish three dimensions of innovative capacity with which we can assess the innovative capacity of public organizations: combinative or connective capacity; ambidextrous capacity; and learning capacity. We conclude this article with a critical reflection upon the applicability of the framework presented in the paper.

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Innovation Journal
Department of Public Administration

Gieske, H., van Buuren, A., & Bekkers, V. (2016). Conceptualizing public innovative capacity: A framework for assessment. Innovation Journal, 21(1), 1–25. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/86056