”Jeg kan godt sige ”innovativ” – jeg siger det tit”. Begrænser innovationsdiskursen innovation i praksis?

  • Charlotte Wegener

Abstract

Innovationsbegrebet er centralt i debatten om fremtidens velfærdssamfund, og innovation fremstår nu som et imperativ for både samfund og arbejdspladser. Men hvad betyder innovation i en offentlig kontekst egentlig, og hvilken betydning har innovationsimperativet for aktører i deres daglige praksis på offentlige arbejdspladser? Fra et empirisk perspektiv udfolder artiklen en begrebsanalyse af innovation og viser, hvordan innovationsbegrebets betydninger skabes gennem lokale aktørers diskurser. Fra et demokratiseringsperspektiv argumenteres efterfølgende for, at lokale aktørers perspektiver på innovation skal ses som en konstruktiv ressource, der kan bidrage til bæredygtig udvikling i praksis. ENGELSK ABSTRACT: Charlotte Wegener: Does Innovation Discourse Restrict Innovation? The elder care sector in Denmark is one of the main welfare state areas in which innovation is on the agenda. Economic constraints, demographic changes including more elderly and reduced budgets are the arguments advanced by politicians and public opinions leaders for adopting a radically new way of thinking. If this does not happen, they argue, quality and ethics – and consequently citizens and staff – will suffer unnecessarily. The solution promulgated is innovation. This article investigates the ways in which the innovation discourse unfolds on the practice-based level – among students and staff in the elder care sector and at the social and health care college, which trains care workers. It examines the discourses among employees, managers and students who are supposed to be innovative and take part in implementation of innovative changes within their organization or in cross-organizational collaboration in social and health care and education. It asks whether innovation discourse facilitates innovation. The article concludes that the actors are engaged in the concept of innovation; however, there is a tendency to invest this engagement into producing more discourse. Meanwhile changes in the social sector proceed in parallel processes with no interaction with, or even in opposition to the innovation discourse. Key words: Public innovation, discourse, social actors, the social and health care sector.
Published
2012-12-08