Innovation Perspectives in Local Administration at the Beginning of the “Age of Cities”

Gabriela Virginia POPESCU

Abstract


This paper represents an insight of the public administration process to adapt to innovation. The particularities consist in the fact that, at least in Romania and other CEE countries, this process is rooted not only in the objective reality, but also this process has to include the adaptation of the (centralized) “state” to the market conditions. Somehow, it may be a contradiction between state/central/local administration and the market. Traditionally (or conservatively), the public administration is known as an exponent of the state, a state that must address equally, equitably and objectively the whole community and to ensure the right conditions for its correct functioning. The latter concept – market – is the opposite of the state, it implies competition, preferences, some kind of democratic (as opposite to central) participation at the city life. The nowadays realities put public and private face to face, forcing them to find a way to co-exist and co-create for the benefit of the whole community. The two sectors have all the conditions to collaborate, considering the scale of the flows, including the flows of innovation and knowledge that characterize our society today. The research is focused on the ”status” of innovation in Romania, in general, and in public administration, in particular. In spite of its evolution from the centralized state to the EU democratic state, the innovation in public administration is perceived more as a restructuration or reorganization process required by the European Union. The underestimate of the innovation in the public administration is explained by the generally reduced interest paid to innovation both in the private as well as public sector, as revealed by the secondary data analyze we conducted within the documentation for this paper. The in-depth interviews are trying to explain how the local administration practically works, considering the innovation process. The results should be understood and further discussed from the larger perspective of new development trends, models and performance of cities all worldwide.


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