Identifying and prioritizing barriers and challenges of Social Innovation implementation in the Public Sector

Identificando y priorizando las barreras y los retos de la implementación de la Innovación Social en el Sector Público

  • Mohammad Abdolhosseinzadeh Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University
  • Fahime Mohammadi School of Management, Economics, and Progress Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology
  • Mahdi Abdolhamid School of Management, Economics, and Progress Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology
Keywords: innovation, social innovation, participatory innovation, open innovation, public sector, judicial system


Social innovation (SI) is one of the latest approaches for empowering the public sector (PS). Because of the bureaucratic nature of the PS, implementation of social innovations in PS faces many challenges. This study is trying to identify and prioritize these barriers and challenges focusing on the judicial sector. This study has used a mixed-method. In the qualitative stage, by reviewing the literature and applying the focus group interview method with 12 experts, 40 barriers and challenges were organized into seven categories. In the quantitative step, 18 experts that were identified based on the purposive sampling method have answered the questionnaire and the challenges were prioritized using a fuzzy TOPSIS method. The results showed that the lack of a proper regulatory system for social innovators is the main challenge the SI faces in the judicial system. Finally, structural, functional, and behavioral recommendations were provided to remove these barriers.


La innovación social (IS) es uno de los últimos enfoques para potenciar el sector público (SP). Debido a la naturaleza burocrática del SP, la implementación de innovaciones sociales en el SP se enfrenta a muchos retos. Este estudio trata de identificar y priorizar estas barreras y desafíos centrándose en el sector judicial. Este estudio ha utilizado un método mixto. En la etapa cualitativa, mediante la revisión de la literatura y la aplicación de entrevistas a grupos focales con la participación de 12 expertos, se identificaron 40 barreras y desafíos en siete categorías. En la etapa cuantitativa, 18 expertos fueron identificados, en base al método de muestreo intencional y los retos fueron priorizados utilizando el método TOPSIS difuso. Los resultados mostraron que la falta de un sistema regulador adecuado para los innovadores sociales es el principal reto al que se enfrenta la IS en el sistema judicial. Por último, se ofrecieron recomendaciones estructurales, funcionales y de comportamiento para eliminar estas barreras.

Palabras clave: innovación; innovación social; innovación participativa; innovación abierta; sector público; sistema judicial.




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How to Cite
Abdolhosseinzadeh, M., Mohammadi, F., & Abdolhamid, M. (2023). Identifying and prioritizing barriers and challenges of Social Innovation implementation in the Public Sector. European Public & Social Innovation Review, 8(1), 56-72. Retrieved from
Research articles