A Systems Theory Approach to Innovation Implementation: Why Organizational Location Matters

Tima T. Moldogaziev, William G. Resh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In this study, we evaluate the "success" of adopted innovations in public organizations as a function of the relative source of innovation vis-à-vis the organizational environment. We argue that the source of innovation will be varyingly associated with subsequent perceptions of implementation success depending on locational characteristics of the source and the innovation's outcome locus. Neither "top-down" nor "bottom-up" arguments of implementation offer a complete picture of perceived implementation success of public sector innovations. Rather, in addition to the vertical perspective ("top-down versus bottom-up") of implementation success, it is the relative proximity the source has to the related process or result that matters, which is represented by a horizontal perspective (organization's core versus organizational boundary or external environment). Our empirical results offer evidence that this expected configuration of relationships, consisting of both vertical and horizontal perspectives simultaneously, indeed exists in the public sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-692
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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