The rising demands of citizens have led many governments to a greater focus upon innovation, in order to effectively and efficiently respond to those demands. Upon recognising that the process of innovation warrants a specific focus, the South African Government established the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) as a component of government with the mandate to entrench a culture of innovation in the public service. In this context, public servants have been identified as key sources of innovation and are increasingly called upon to generate innovative solutions to the challenges experienced within their respective public service institutions - a practice referred to as intrapreneurship. However, assertions made of a lack of an intrapreneurial spirit in the South African Public Service, coupled with Section 5.1 of the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery’s (1997) description of how unconducive to intrapreneurship the public service environment is - brings into question the role of the CPSI in promoting intrapreneurship in the public service. Thus, the primary objective of this study is to conduct an analysis of the role of the Centre for Public Service Innovation in promoting intrapreneurship in the South African Public Service.
The results presented are based upon data obtained using qualitative methods in a case study design. The research instruments used to collect this data comprised interviews with senior management of the CPSI and questionnaires distributed to some of the CPSI’s staff members. In addition, questionnaires were distributed to some of the intrapreneurs in the public service. In the end, the study analysed the research results against the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) model on how public sector innovation units, such as the CPSI, can support the various stages of the innovation cycle in the broader public sector. Based upon the analysis, the study subsequently summarised the role of the CPSI in promoting intrapreneurship in the public service as: encouraging the generation of ideas, testing, piloting, replicating and scaling innovative solutions, facilitating learning and knowledge sharing, as well as research and development. However, the results also showed that the CPSI faced several obstacles in the successful execution of its role. Therefore, recommendations on how the promotion of intrapreneurship in the public service can be improved were presented in the study’s final chapter. This study therefore has the potential to provide insight into issues pertaining to the promotion of intrapreneurship in the public service, as well as to contribute to the literature review’s revelation of a lack of empirical data on the construct, using the CPSI as a case study.
Dissertation (MAdmin)--University of Pretoria, 2019.