Collaborative Governance and Public Innovation in Northern Europe

Collaborative Governance and Public Innovation in Northern Europe

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Social Sciences & Humanities, Chemical Abstracts.

Governments all over Northern Europe have placed public innovation high on the political agenda and pursuing public innovation through multi-actor collaboration such as public-private partnerships ...
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Public Innovation and Organizational Legitimacy: An Empirical Analysis of Social Media in the Dutch Police

Pp. 69-89 (21)

Albert Meijer


This chapter aims to enhance our understanding of the relation between public innovation and organizational legitimacy. On the basis of the literature, we formulate the expectation that top-down innovation results in strengthening of a bureaucratic logic to producing legitimacy whereas bottom-up innovation results in more emphasis on a network logic. To investigate this expectation empirically, the chapter analyses the introduction and use of social media by the Dutch police. The outcomes challenge the expected relation: top-down innovation resulted in a more networked arrangement for legitimacy. We explain this finding by pointing out that the innovation process was infrastructural and empty in content: the content was provided through bottom-up innovation. We conclude that combinations of top-down and bottom-up practices can form a conceptual lens for studying the involvement of different organizational actors in processes of public innovation.


Public innovation, organizational legitimacy, police, social media.


Utrecht School of Governance, The Netherlands.