Philipp Kuscher


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Erkki Karo

Opponent: Prof. Dr. Rainer Kattel

Defense: 5 June 2020


Abstract: It is commonly acknowledged that Germany’s public sector developed a deficit in its digital transformation. Consequently, the federal government passed a comprehensive OZG-legislative in 2017 which requires all German public institutions to digitalize their public services by the end of 2022. Until now, it seems that only limited progress was made and that the countries administration faces several restraints to progress with innovative developments. Thus, this thesis focuses on a theoretical discussion about innovation ecosystems in the public sector before conducting a problem analysis of why Germany’s public sector lacks progress within its digital transformation efforts. Based on the innovation ecosystem framework of Bason, a dual qualitative approach (literature analysis and in-depth interviews) examines the overall innovation ecosystem consisting of all its sub-levels on the existence of barriers and related causes that hinder the successful OZG-implemenntation. Within all dimensions and key factors the country seems to have developed organizational routines and skills that significantly impede innovative developments. Ranging from a missing awareness about the OZG’s extra value, to barriers within the innovation capacity like cooperation problems and a zero-error culture within the civil service, over missing skills and knowledge on how to use co-creation methods, to an overfocus on preferring preserving leaders over innovative out-of-the-box thinkers. Germany becomes an example of how an innovation ecosystem built up organizational routines based on a traditional mindset that seriously hinders innovation in government which leads to the self-made deficit in its digital transformation.


Keywords: Public Sector Innovation, Digital Transformation, Innovation Ecosystem, Barriers, OZG.