Title: Linking exploration and exploitation: how a think tank triggers a managerial innovation

Authors: Jetta Frost, Rick Vogel

Addresses: Chair of Organization and Management, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Public and Personnel Management, Department of Business and Economics, University of Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 5 20146 Hamburg, Germany. ' Chair of Organization and Management, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Public and Personnel Management, Department of Business and Economics, University of Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 5 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: In this article, we focus on think tanks as intermediaries between exploration and exploitation. To underpin our theoretical arguments on their linking function between both domains, we conducted a case study. The object of investigation is a think tank which has played a decisive role in the modernisation of the German public sector. The managerial innovation it has triggered is a control model which departs from the principles of bureaucracy by shifting emphasis from input to output control. We visualise the links between exploration and exploitation by analysing citations of reports and journal articles in which the think tank outlines this model. Three stages of the discourse on New Public Management (NPM) in Germany are distinguished, resulting in a remarkable diffusion rate in administrative practice.

Keywords: bibliometrics; case study; discourse analysis; exploration; exploitation; Germany; new public management; NPM; research-intensive organisations; think tanks; innovation; intermediaries; public sector; output control; public administration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2008.018869

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2008 Vol.3 No.1, pp.75 - 91

Published online: 20 Jun 2008 *

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