- Pp. 3-21 (19)Annika Agger, Bodil Damgaard, Andreas Hagedorn Krogh and Eva Sørensen
Governments all over Northern Europe have placed public innovation high on the political agenda. European governance researchers are seeking to map the impact of efforts to promote public innovation with a particular focus on the role of collaborative forms of governance in achieving this. This introductory chapter provides a description of this new field of research - its emergence, character and maturity - with reference to the case studies presented in the following chapters. The case studies draw on a broad range of different theoretical and methodological schools of thought that each offers a unique contribution to developing a new, multi-disciplinary theory of public innovation. The case studies are mainly based on qualitative data; however, the authors note that quantitative studies and mixed methods could potentially advance the research field even further. Nevertheless, the case studies presented in the book point to a number of important preliminary findings regarding the role of collaborative forms of governance in enhancing public innovation: 1) Collaborative public innovation transforms mindsets, role perceptions and work forms; 2) Design matters for the success and failure of collaborative innovation processes; 3) Leadership is important for promoting collaborative innovation; and 4) Collaborative public innovation is relevant at all levels of governance. On these grounds, the chapter concludes that a promising research field is emerging but is still in its infancy and further research is needed in order to map the potential of, and barriers to, collaborative forms of public innovation in Northern Europe.