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CPSA/CAPPA section on Public Administration

K17 - Innovation in the Public Sector

Date: Jun 6 | Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 206

Chair/Président/Présidente : Jean-François Savard (École nationale d'administration publique)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Amanda Clarke (Carleton University)

Renewing State-Owned Enterprises: Innovations and Economic Development: Mahdi Khelfaoui (Université d'Ottawa)
Abstract: For some authors, there is a Canadian model (Bourgon, 2011; Gow, 2004). But reading Pollitt and Bouckaert’s fourth edition of Public Management Reform (2017) or as a matter of fact the two previous ones, Canadian public management is at best an outlier, an outlier even among the other Westminster systems. The United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia have pushed much further their reforms. Reforms were far more limited in Canada where arguably the new public management ideas were not as much implemented. It is not because fads such as deliverology do not get to Canada. This is not to say that the Canadian state does not work well or does not innovate. Canada ranked first in the Canada in the International Civil Service Effectiveness Index 2017 (Government of Canada, 2018). But Canadian reforms are seldom studied outside its borders (Charbonneau et al, 2018). They should as this paper aims to explain. We want to use three sources of data to analyze innovation and reforms made by the Canadian government following a documentary analysis. The first one is a data bank developed on the applications by organizations of the Canadian state to the Innovative Management Award in Canada where the federal but also provincial, territorial and municipal governments apply very year. This data bank of over 2200 applications will allow us to partly follow the evolution of the Canadian state. The second one is the preliminary results of a two qualitative studies we are conducting within the federal state. One is on performance management at Services Canada on how street level bureaucrats live with the application of a new performance management framework. The other is about a study we do with the Public Renewal Service of the Privy Council that gives us access to different efforts to renew the management of the federal civil service. We think we can offer a new perspective on the renewal of the Canadian state. Bourgon, J. (2011). A New Synthesis of Public Administration. Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Government of Canada (2018), 25th Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada, Ottawa. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/pco-bcp/images/ann-rpt/25/rpt-25-eng.pdf Gow, James Iain (2004) A Canadian Model of Pubic Administration? Ottawa: Canada School of Public Service. Pollitt, Christopher and Geert Bouckaert (2017), Public Management Reform, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Learning From Others, Revisited: How Canadian Public Servants Confront Administrative Innovations: Carey Doberstein (University of British Columbia), Étienne Charbonneau (École nationale d'administration publique)
Abstract: In 1994, Professor James Iain Gow surveyed public servants across Canada on how they access and utilize research from various sources and how that is linked to policy innovation. Twenty-five years later, we are interested in understanding how the methods by which public servants access information and research have changed, if at all. We thus replicate key parts of the original survey conducted by Gow, but also add an experimental dimension that tests how subjects respond to policy innovations from around the world. That is, we ask them direct questions about their research utilization and how they track and digest policy innovations from around the world, but also get them to reveal which elements of these innovations are most important in their determinations of feasibility in their jurisdictions by presenting vignettes about real policy innovations around the world.


Artificial Intelligence Policies: A Cultural Divide?: Jean-François Gagné (Université de Montréal)
Abstract: In recent years, many governments around the world published an AI strategy. Significant variations exist between nations. What are the factors explaining these differences? We want to examine the cultural thesis. With two leaders in AI policies, Asia and Europe, the East-West framework receives increase attention among scholars. We argue that although cultural attitudes mirror this cleavage, how these differences translate into AI policies is less clear. Reflecting on this outcome, we discuss limits of causal mechanisms as well as other factors that might come into play. The comparative analysis of AI strategies uses the UK, France, China and South Korea as case studies and existing surveys (World Values Survey, Eurobarometer and Asian barometer) to map cultural attitudes. Overall, the link between people’s beliefs and AI policies remains understudy. The research contributes to the literature on AI policies, which is mostly idiosyncratic and descriptive. It tests working hypotheses and explores news ones. In doing so, it examines under which conditions cultural attitudes have an impact on AI policies, hence helps to refine cultural-based theories on public policies.