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Consultation Response

Q. 1- How to make the IJ the best little journal on public sector innovation that it can be?

- PUBLISH A SMALL NUMBER OF HIGH QUALITY PAPERS. THE TEMPTATION TO PUBLISH EVERYTHING YOU CAN GET/IS AVAILABLE SHOULD BE RESISTED. FOCUS ON GENUINE CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE SENSE OF PAPERS WHICH EITHER PROVIDE NEW THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL INSIGHTS OR WHICH MATERIALLY INFORM MANAGEMENT PRACTICE.

Q.2 - Who are the readers we are trying to attract?

ACTIVE RESEARCHERS AND SCHOLARS, INNOVATION CHAMPIONS AND OTHER PRACTITIONERS WITH A GENUINE/INFORMED INTEREST IN P.S. REFORM AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT. THE OTHER READERS WILL COME IF YOU CAN SATISFY THESE TWO GROUPS.

Q. 3a. What should the IJ cover?
- Only innovation, narrowly defined? public administration reform more generally? local, provincial/state, national, or international?

FOCUS ON INNOVATION WITHIN THE BROADER CONTEXT OF PUBLIC SERVICE REFORM. PEOPLE DISAGREE AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES INNOVATION VS REFORM.. WHAT YOU MIGHT ELIMINATE IS A FOCUS ON "CHANGE" WHICH DOESN'T REALLY CONSTITUTE REFORM OR INNOVATION MORE STRICTLY DEFINED. ONE POSSIBLE PROBLEM WITH THIS, I SUPPOSE, IS THAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT CONSIDER A TOPIC LIKE PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT A CHANGE RATHER THAN A REFORM.

- Articles, speeches by professionals, academics, students, management consultants?

ONLY IF THEY ARE OF HIGH QUALITY

- Subject areas: the learning organization, the innovation process, examples of innovation, government subject areas e.g. health, criminal justice, defence...

ALL THE MAJOR AREAS OF INNOVATION - PARTNERSHIPS, EMPOWERMENT, TECHNOLOGY, ETC: I AM LESS INTERESTED IN PARTICULAR POLICY FIELDS BUT AN OCCASIONAL SPECIAL ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL FOCUSING ON INNOVATIONS IN, FOR EXAMPLE, THE FIELD OF HEALTH POLICY, MIGHT BE ATTRACTIVE IF SOMEBODY DRAWS OUT FROM THESE CONTRIBUTIONS THE LEARNING POINTS FOR P.A. IN GENERAL, BOTH THEORY AND PRACTICE.

- One way/interactive?

ONE WAY. COULD HAVE A LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SECTION RESPONDING TO PUBLISHED PIECES.

b. Please provide suggestions for topics

EMPOWERMENT. TEAMS. WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE LEARNING ORGANIZATION. PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND RESULTS.

c. Suggestions for authors

AS AN ACADEMIC, I WOULD BE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN HEARING FROM PRACTITIONERS WHO HAVE A THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL BENT.

d. Suggestions for books/reports to review

YOU MIGHT WANT TO WRITE TO A WHOLE LOT OF PUBLISHERS TELLING THEM ABOUT THE JOURNAL AND ASKING THEM TO SEND YOU BOOKS FOR REVIEW IN CERTAIN SPECIFIED SUBJECT-AREAS. SOME OF THE US PUBLISHERS HAVE A LOT OF GOOD PUBLICATIONS ON P.A., REFORM ETC: - E.G. DEKKER

e. Suggestions for humour

P.A. IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER (HO HO)

f. Suggestions for topics to debate and who could debate them.

YOU COULD TAKE SOME OF THE MAJOR INNOVATION AREAS, E.G., PARTNERSHIPS AND HAVE A DEBATE ON THEIR UTILITY. E.G., WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED ABOUT PARTNERSHIPS IN THE CONTEXT OF WHAT I HAVE REFERRED TO FOR SOME TIME AS THE W-5 QUESTION. WHAT WORKS WELL WHERE - AND WHY?

g. Who could review articles on what subjects?

TOO LARGE A QUESTION. WOULD HAVE TO BE DEALT WITH RE PARTICULAR ARTICLES AND SUBJECTS.

h. Which other sites (include addresses) should we link to?

WON'T A PERUSAL OF THE NET TURN UP A LOT OF SITES - COULD START FOR EXAMPLE WITH THE NATIONAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW SITE AND GO FROM THERE. THERE IS OF COURSE VPAC, OECD ETC:

i. How can we contribute to knowledge of best practices without staff?

NOT SURE WHAT YOU HAVE IN MIND HERE. IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT STAFF TO MANAGE THE JOURNAL YOU MIGHT CONSIDER APPOINTING AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND A BOOK REVIEW EDITOR, FOR EXAMPLE.

j. Who is interested in innovation? names, addresses, phone and fax numbers and email addresses, please, if you have them.

BIG QUESTION - I'LL HAVE TO COME BACK TO THIS ONE. LET ME MENTION JUST A FEW PEOPLE ASIDE FROM THOSE ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS - PAUL THOMAS (POL. SCIENCE, U. OF MANITOBA), PETER AUCOIN (POL. SC. - DALHOUSIE), JOHN LANGFORD - SCHOOL OF P.A. - U. OF VICTORIA), EVERT LINDQUIST (POL. SC. - TORONTO), THE IPAC PROFESSIONAL STAFF, YOU COULD PROBABLY GET A LIST OF THE MEMBERS OF VPAC ETC.

Q.4 - How do we deal with barriers: not currently peer reviewed, no intellectual property rights, no permanent record, uncertain how many years it will last.

PERHAPS IT SHOULD BE PEER REVIEWED ASAP.

WHY CAN'T THERE BE A PERMANENT RECORD?

Q. 5 - What would constitute success?

REPUTATION FOR HIGH QUALITY PIECES AMONG P.A. ACADEMICS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS. REFERENCES TO THESE PIECES IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS. REASONABLE NUMBER OF UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS.

SOMEWHAT CONTRARY TO WHAT I HAVE SAID ABOVE, I WONDER IF THERE MIGHT BE ROOM FOR A SPECIAL "QUICK AND DIRTY" SECTION WHICH BRINGS US ALL UP TO DATE ON RECENT REFORMS/INNOVATIONS - VERY BRIEF - THE ESSENCE OF WHAT IS BEING DONE AND WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION. THE IPAC INNOVATION NEWSLETTER DOES A LITTLE OF THIS.

 

Updated November 02, 1998