Public Innovation and Organizational Legitimacy: An Empirical Analysis of Social Media in the Dutch Police
Pp. 69-89 (21)
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.