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On-line version ISSN 2448-5799Print version ISSN 1405-1435

Convergencia vol.23 n.70 Toluca Jan./Apr. 2016


Scientific Articles

Civic know-hows in the innovation of public management

Freddy Mariñez-Navarro1 

1Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, Mexico.


This paper defines the concept of civic know-hows in the light of their components such as civic intelligence, civic engagement, social control and collaborative participation, as well as how their analysis is used to propose a kind of innovation in participatory governance. Through a theoretical exploration, we approach, on the one hand, the explanation of the elements of innovation in participatory governance, and on the other, the determination of the general meeting place in the complementary relation between the components of civic know-hows and the implementation of an improvement process or a new management, the introduction of a new service or improving the quality of an existing one, as well as the ways of providing them

Key words: innovation; public management; civic know-hows; participation; collaboration


Este trabajo precisa el concepto de saberes cívicos a la luz de sus componentes tales como la inteligencia cívica, el compromiso cívico, el control social y la participación colaborativa; también el modo en que su análisis sirve para proponer un tipo de innovación participativa en la gestión pública. Mediante una exploración teórica, nos aproximamos, por una parte, a explicar los elementos de la innovación de la gestión pública participativa; y por otra, a determinar las líneas generales de encuentro en la relación complementaria entre los componentes de los saberes cívicos y la implementación de un proceso de mejora, o gestión nuevo, la introducción de un nuevo servicio o una mejora de la calidad en un servicio existente, así como las formas de proveer éstos.

Palabras clave: innovación; gestión pública; saberes cívicos; participación; colaboración


The new socio-economic, political and cultural conditions have had an impact on the approaches to innovation in public management. Therefore, the civic know-hows, whose components are civic engagement, civic intelligence, social control and collaborative participation, have become the main elements of modernization in public management. Starting from the position that we must "innovate Public Management Innovation", it is possible if seen as the agreements of governmental actors, citizens and non-state actors to identify public issues, as well as tools and different mechanisms for achieving new responses and solutions in the public sphere.

On the other hand, the democratic procedures of interaction of these stakeholders in a relational public management framework reconfigure the relationship between government and society, hence generating the required collective learning for a quality and inclusive management. In other words, the aim is to build networks of abilities and know-hows where resources and different actor's expertise are combined for a co-innovation. This premise will be inferred throughout the article when addressing each one of the components of the civic know-hows and the relationship between them.

First of all, these know-hows are everything there is and everything we know about democratic coexistence, rights and duties as citizens, as well as structures, functions and state and government's means of power. They constitute the conception of the citizen's knowledge corresponding to its level of democratic culture. Meaning to be willing to participate in-person as well as through the information and communication technologies (ICT) in rational discourse with the intention to generate a sort of non-delegated power from the citizens, with which it can be asked how people could take part in the public life, exercising their rights toward the government for the co-creation of public value.

From this point of view, we suggest to place the civic know-hows in the middle of public management, since governments nowadays tend to be understood as democratic participatory platforms.1 This work prioritizes the analytic approach of civic know-hows in the light of the component's display and the way in which its analysis works to set out a type of participative innovation in public management. We affirm that in order to innovate and increase legitimacy of public management innovation it is required to democratically involve citizens and non-state actors.

The objectives of this article are: 1) to analyze the components of the civic know-hows as legalizing elements of participative public management innovation; and 2) to determine the general guidelines of the complementary relationship between the components of these civic know-hows and the public management. Throughout a theoretical review in order to examine how civic engagement, civic intelligence, social control and especially collaborative participation have been discussed in the literature, the interaction framework of these concepts is presented besides how they relate to innovation and public management.

Discovering the civic know-hows in order to strengthen innovation in public management

For the purpose of this work, innovation in public management is understood as the recognition for the citizens and non-state actors' creativity and results in their relationship with public officials. In other words, the citizens' participation is essential in this view so as to differentiate it from the classic approach of management innovation based just on the processes and the use of technological tools as an end. (Mulgan and Albury, 2003; Windrum, 2008).

Innovation constitutes, in this sense, the implementation of an improvement process or new management related to three areas: 1) the product, good or service (the introduction of a new service, the improvement of the quality of an existing service); 2) operative process (alterations or changes in the way to provide public services); and 3) the organization or management process (changes in organizational structures management practice and routines) (OECD, 2012).

In this sense, efficacy and efficiency have been pursued through quality improvement and government innovation based on the following foundations of total quality: customer satisfaction, continuous improvement of the processes and personal development. The concept implementation of this concept resulted in the rearrangement of the organization's traditional adjustment, leading to changes such as the privilege of enterprises and government's financial results. Moving to quality product and focusing on the public sector, the operations' economic efficiency, and the rigorous balance of public finances; also focusing on productivity and approaching the products to the customers making the product an integral component of the service, thus reaching the competitively dimension for quality products.

On the other hand, it can be seen that the internal administration that characterized the weberian administration, has been widespread among the users of the organization's goods and services and concluding a public administration without public and a government without citizens (Aguilar, 2006).

Unlike the management innovation concept explained above, we aimed for a public management innovation concept were civic know-hows are the core of the analysis regarding that their work is carried out based on the engagement of the citizens with the government, therefore enabling civic intelligence, control management improvement by the social audit, likewise the shared idea about the public sector, as collaborative competencies for the authentic achievement of governments' efficacy and efficiency.

In this way, innovation in public management is depicted focusing on two directions: 1) to arrangements of citizens, governmental and non-state actors which allow to identify public issues besides the tools and innovative mechanisms in order to achieve new answers and solutions in the public sphere; 2) as a consequence of the latter, the democratic forms of interaction of the stakeholders in the public sphere create a new configuration between government and society ensuring collective learning and the required civic know-hows for a quality inclusive management.

Hence, public organizations build more relationships, public management becomes more participative and throughout their administration, public policies are more deliberative in the agenda-setting, more inclusive in the contribution of solutions (design), and more collaborative stakeholders in the process of implementation. (Peters, 2014). This, in order to achieve citizen satisfaction which is defined, according to Im and Lee (2011: 420) , as "the combination of general and subjective assessments of the experiences people have with public services, which include not only feelings or opinions about 'objective services', but also judgmental evaluations".

The distinguishing characteristics of innovation based on civic know-hows and managerialist innovation can be summed up as follows: whereas in the former, the type of satisfaction is related to the citizens, in the latter it belongs to the customers by the continuous enhancement of processes, products and services. Another feature is learning.

The innovation with participation in the management generates a kind of collective learning among public officials and citizens, given the sort of relational, flexible, and inclusive public management. In managerialist innovation, learning occurs only among public officials, achieving a relational aspect, but not inclusive. In terms of participation in management, in innovation with civic know-hows, public officials create opportunities to engage the citizens using these opportunities to educate, organize and activate the civil defense, creating a legitimacy criterion based on innovation co-production; whereas managerialist innovation just provides a market framework focused on the delivery of the public service or product to the 'customer', and its only legitimacy are its results (Table 1).2

In this context, innovating in public management must go hand in hand with the strengthening of democratic institutions (Rizvi, 2008) as well as the societal relationships and these among the government. "Innovation exists when certain kinds of problems don't have existing answers. The stakeholders must get innovative solutions to their problems given the institutional insufficiency" (Harrison and Klein, 2007: 8) . Thus, in order to fill this gap the civic know-hows are appealed in order to complete and spread the public sector's potential. This is to say, to build competencies and know-hows networks in which stakeholders' resources and expertise are combined for the purpose of co-production (Fung, 2008).

With the purpose of gathering the society's requests, an innovative public management requires enterprising public officials for organizations prepared for diversity, adaptation and reinvention. In this sense, the entrepreneurship can be seen as the key to innovation based in civic know-hows and it helps creating opportunities and taking advantage of them in order to improve its implementation in public organizations. Mothae and Sindane (2013: 117) define it as "the development of a new business within the context of the large public organizations. Public officials, through intrapreneurship, become entrepreneurs in their respective public sector organizations."

In other words, as defined by Goldsmith et al. (2010), the entrepreneurship, represented as the spirit of enterprise, and civic virtue (the spirit of community), are required.

The civic know-hows in public management innovation become important aspects of innovation itself. For this to take place, the four components must be interrelated and even more connected with democracy. There are the democratic innovation processes in public management as a part of the democratization of the political system on one hand, and on the other the citizens' right of participation in public management. Each component of the civic know-hows will be analyzed in further detail below.

Civic Engagement

The first civic know-how is civic engagement, understood as the way in which citizens promote associationism through duties or promises with the primary aim of conducting the debate, deliberation and solution to public concerns. It goes beyond civic participation and ensures the people to assert their rights of freedom since both, according to Barber (2004), are correlative; each implies and complements the other.

Men and women that are not directly responsible of the policies that shape their lives by means of deliberation, decision-making and equity, no matter their security, individual rights or autonomy: they are not free at all. In this matter, Subirats (2015, 4) points out that:

the debates on management of resources, services, government and institutions take a new turn if they stand on the following premise: to build a new local policy from the citizens, the neighborhoods, the experts and the civic know-hows; from officeholders and citizens, from those who have fought and suffered the effects of the decisions made by those who claimed they knew what they were doing and did it for our sake.

Therefore, we allude to various kinds of highly inclusive civil dialogue and the deliberation for policy creation and decision-making. That is to say "the key deliberative virtue is reciprocity, which means, making arguments in terms that others can accept" (Gutmann and Thomson, 1996, cited by Dryzek, 2009). Inclusion is a key aspect when speaking of civic engagement, since its mail goal is to provide the people a sense of control so their activities of membership and community association have a voice in their relationship with the government in order to improve their decisions. (Fung, 2008).

Hence, civic engagement efficiently supports the functioning of democracy, the quality of government and the inclusion of public management to create circumstances for legitimacy, success in the implementation of public policies and attainable social results: the social and public values.

Citizen engagement, for our definition, means something other than citizen involvement or participation. The difference lies in the production model of governance. Citizen involvement or participation happens in a traditional production model of governance where citizens are actors or stakeholders who act in a consultation role to and with established institutions. Citizen engagement comes out of a co-production model of governance where citizens are an essential part of the production process. Engaged citizens are, in theory, committed to some larger sense of the "common good" beyond their individual and independent selves (Simrell and Martinelli, 2005: 2).

Simrell and Martinelli (2005) perspective is relevant, since a widespread tendency among public management is that government and non-state actors engage in an organizational level and create links with the public sphere. This brings the public officials' role in such engagement at the heart of the discussion. "In this scenario, public administrators create opportunities to engage with citizens and use those opportunities to educate, organize, and activate citizens to advocate and participate in the larger public sphere on their own behalf" (Brainard and McNutt, 2010: 841) .

Hence, civic engagement is also defined as a direct communication process, whether in-person or by the available information technologies in which people openly debate their motives, interests, abilities and values to come to an agreement in decision-making. "Citizens' engagement in social networks allows individuals to express their interests and demands on government. It allows their individual and otherwise quiet voices to be heard, and thus leads to more inclusion. Networks of civic engagement also make citizens more competent." (Michels, 2011: 278) .

Bailur and Gigler (2014) also point out that civic engagement implies citizen empowerment. For this reason, the resources of the means of participation, transparency and accountability are required. On the one hand, participation raises citizen's concerns and voices (whether their voices are heard is another step). In this regard, Web 2.03 tools provide an opportunity for empowerment because they lower the barriers to participation. With them, citizens can access information and communicate directly, instead of being dependent on intermediaries.

On the other hand, transparency is an important way of empowerment since it means any attempts (by states or citizens) to place information or processes that were previously opaque in the public domain, accessible for use by citizen groups, providers, or policy makers. The third means is accountability, defined as the relationship between the power holder (account provider) and delegator (account demander). The key components of accountability as setting standards, acquiring information about actions, making decisions on the appropriateness of actions, and identifying and sanctioning unsatisfactory performance.

Heeks (2000, cited in Bailur and Gigler, 2014) implies that the ICT (Web 2.0) allows the empowerment to be based on the following conditions: a) availability and transparency of the data; b) public politics makers must make this information accessible, whom are capable of assess and change data into information; c) the information is used for engaging in dialogue and starting the activism between citizen-government and citizen-citizen; and d) the government takes action based on these processes.

On that basis, it can set out more thoroughly in civic engagement and the key role of Web 2.0 in public management innovation:

  1. Web 2.0 and social networks change the ways of interaction society-government.

  2. Information is spread out over multiple channels allowing the citizens to receive it and answer anytime anywhere they want.

  3. Governments need to recognize Web 2.0 as the road to success in becoming noteworthy among their citizens. In civic know-hows-based public management innovation, governments rely on new tools to have the citizen's voices heard.

  4. A connectivity is highly achieved, which enables the citizens to create communities of interest around topics of their concern.

  5. Government can act as a creative agent through open data and Access to government information.

Civic intelligence

The other component is the civic intelligence, which is the direct collective intelligence that deals with shared issues. That is, to address the perceived, current and potential abilities of individuals, groups and organizations in order to face the present-day challenges in an intelligent, effective and fair way for the development of the democratic coexistence. Civic intelligence is rather having information and understand it in order to share it with those who need answers.

In other words, this means knowing, answering and providing so it might be seen as the civic and community organizations' ability to acquire and use knowledge, the ability to effectively adapt or simply the citizens' ability to solve problems to learn, think, predict, consider and imagine. (LaDuke, 2008). This is but the mere logic of the co-creation of solutions, the definition of social and collaboration problems. For this reason, the crowdsourcing plays a significant role in civic intelligence since citizens make use of internet to get resources, knowledge, experience or time (open collaboration).

Zhao and Zhu (2012, cited by Seltzer and Mahmoudi, 2012) defines crowdsourcing as a system, of collective intelligence. And Surowieck (2005, cited by Seltzer and Mahmoudi, 2012: XIII) discusses the wisdom of the crowd, "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them". In developing countries, it is applicable in the frameworks of popular consultations, election monitoring, constitution drafting processes, or anywhere where it ensures that voices of diverse ethnic, political, and minority groups are heard. (Bott et al., 2014).

Schuler (2010) based his definition of civic intelligence on the various efforts of it for common problem solutions, as well as many groups' pursuit of civic purposes through civic means. According to this author, the definition comprises: a) the evidence of groups working toward certain end; b) learning for citizen engagement; c) mobilization of civil society groups around shared challenges; d) citizens' way of thinking and acting; e) creation of engagement in metacognition, meaning the understanding of one's own; and f) citizens' organization and their critically oriented projects.

Shuler (2008: 81) defines civic intelligence as the "ability of groups and organizations and, ideally, society as a whole to conceive and implement effective, equitable, and sustainable approaches to shared problems."

Certainly, civic intelligence as an example of social innovation and civic knowledge is the answer to perceived needs where citizen's acceptance or lack of it is proportional to their necessity of perception.

Social control

The third component of the civic know-hows is social control, which is merely the citizens' participation oriented to monitoring, surveillance and assessment from individuals or organizations about government programs and actions, having a direct impact on the public sphere either by integrating it in committees, collegial bodies, etc. Or an indirect one by setting up complaints procedures (Hevia de la Jara, 2006). Social control is that in which instead of emerging from governance institutions, it comes from society, the direct control from the citizens to officeholders and public officials.

Nowadays, a new analysis framework for social control exists on the basis of Web 2.0 tools. Through the social software, a variety of applications can be reached which intend to broaden communication connection possibilities between people already using e-mail or instant messaging services. These collaborative tools connect people with the purpose of facilitate information flow (agendas, messages, complaints) and to carry out joint projects (collaboration in monitoring and surveillance of public policies).

Consequently, the four central components that make a more effective social control are:

First component: collaborative transparency. There must be an open data project implemented with a philosophy and a method of administration, where all public data are available and updated in a free, non-restricted format. In addition to transparency in management, access to common and necessary data is offered, so people can use them for different purposes such as economic, statistical, meteorological, geographical or touristic information, as well as information about social, health and education matter and other kind of data that cannot be reached easily. In addition, collaboration, joint work and people's participation as implicit auditors in management are encouraged.

The second component is related to organization and citizens' abilities. Attaining organization and the citizen's competence in the use of 2.0 tools for social control, citizens must achieve technical legitimacy to make use of software social platforms and collaboration tools that allow communication, coordination, resource sharing, applications and contents. In this context, citizens must empower to implement collaboration activities for social control.

Though, how come Web 2.0 can allow citizen empowerment? First, with information flow from top to bottom: from the government to the citizens. Second, the creation of bottom-up flow possibilities. From the citizens to the government, key factors for decision-making. And lastly, the horizontal communication flows such as inter-organizational and social networks. That is a network social control and not a hierarchic one.

The third component is the access to information, which is a citizen's right recognized by many countries at a constitutional level. Without available public information, citizens would not have the power of surveillance and monitoring the government's management and policies. This is why it must be guaranteed, complete, not distorted, updated and accessible; in this way, it allows to minimize asymmetry issues in the information.

The fourth and last component is linked to the public sphere. Social control not only applies to the government but to all the actors that take part in the public value production. Saxton and Guo (2011) state that with the internet technologies dissemination, two key aspects in accountability of civic organizations come to the surface: dissemination and dialogue. That is, if the production in the public sphere is collaborative (co-creation), the various actors (governmental, non-state and citizens) can be controlled due to their actions.

In a nutshell, social control is the means to monitor, audit and surveillance of the performance of public policy and service's the development plan, allowing on one hand, to prevent inconsistencies, diversion of resources intended to works, services, programs and projects to public co-creation actors, and suggesting how to use them. On the other hand, it contributes to ensure compliance with the law and procedures in the execution of works, services, programs and projects financed from public funds. And lastly, it encourage citizen's trust to incorporate in the surveillance of the resources intended to satisfy the community's necessities. "Besides, social control is seen as a significantly different form of traditional model of control: political, fiscal, judicial, inner, disciplinary, but at the same time as an interaction scenario between state and civil society" (Garcés, 2006: 480).

Social control is not possible without civic engagement, civic intelligence and collaborative participation, since it is aimed to guarantee the citizens the access to information, encourage participation and co-responsibility; to improve efficiency, efficacy and reliability in government actions, and to embolden the citizens to be watchful toward corruption.

Collaborative participation

The fourth and last component of the civic know-hows is collaborative participation, based on the value of reciprocity, which may involve citizens (Agranoff and McGuire, 2003). In other words, the citizens, companies and even the government make use of their abilities and the ICT to contribute with solutions or with the public management.

It is quite clear that in order for participative collaboration to be consolidated and becomes an innovation element in public management, there must be a government policy that a makes possible a closer approach between citizens and government through dialogue in order to allow the assistance and management to the requests, negotiations and dialogue with collaboration.

Harrison et al. (2011) claim that deliberation and participation must create opportunities for the exchange of views with the purpose of defining the course of action to ensure the different points of view of citizens, civil society groups, and non-state actors are taken into account into the government practice. In other words, the collaborative participation occurs when the individuals with their expertise, are, along with the government, an integral part of the co-creation process in decision-taking in the creation of solutions and its subsequent implementation. Welch (2010, cited by Meijer et al., 2012), suggest that "participation may be more important in the initial stages of the policy cycle whereas transparency may become more relevant in the implementation of policies. Citizens want to participate to influence policies and monitor the implementation of these policies through open access to information." (Meijer et al., 2012: 15).

Collaborative participation entails a change in the game of citizens and non-state actors' political, technical social and ethical legitimacies, which is why the interests of the government operate with co-creation outlines, since:

it comprises innovative dynamics to find solutions in a non-conventional way, either through the development a new one or through a new approach that at the same time gets several actors together. What distinguishes innovation in participative processes is co-creation, therefore it does not simply relate to a new technique, but to a new way of generating knowledge collectively (Zurbriggen and González, 2014: 339) .

Collaborative participation impacts innovation since it opens the door to the possibility of dialogue, communication, legitimacy and trust, bringing together the society multiple actors to work together, admitting that citizens own information of different actors that can be used to solve public issues. "A new paradigm of collaboration and innovation in public administration requires that certain online behaviors be learned, understood and adopted" (Edelmann et al., 2012: 22) .

The logic of civic know-hows in collaboration processes

Michels (2011: 280) identifies four types of democratic innovation improve collaborative participatory and public management:

a) Referendums give individual people a direct vote in political decisions; b) participatory policy making, characterized by a clear relation with decision making in the sense that citizens and stakeholders are asked to advise the government; c) deliberative surveys, these are the individual opinions on which citizens are asked about a particular issue, and d) the deliberative forums, understood as forums designed with the aim of being deliberative, which means that the focus is on following the ideal deliberative procedures; opinion formation and the exchange of arguments are more important than decision making.

Regarding collaborative participation in public management innovation, participation defined as the process to settle specific issues in order to find common solutions or to converge unlike attitudes toward a shared effort (collaboration in the public process, policy and decision-making). Therefore, when speaking of public decisions, participation means to take part in public management. In this way, participation is synonym of intervention of interests, of concern that implies willingness, a sense of belonging to a collective, a group, a town, a federal entity, a country. It is also important to state that the citizens and organizations that participate in the public sphere need to connect with similar ones in a contact network that allows the creation of contents, information exchange, experiences and to carry out common projects.

This statement settles citizens and civic society as the place for finding new legitimacy sources and other consensus opportunities based on tolerance, debate, collaboration and dialogue. This latter, understood as a means to logically channel the ideological plurality. It becomes the key for participation as different citizens, political and government actors can express their ideas, beliefs, researches, conclusions, experiences, etc. through it, with the purpose of coming to an agreement, and finally making a decision that will affect in a positive/negative way, directly/indirectly the government policy (Barber, 2004).

Hence, governments with a modern public view can face the challenge of participation: "to shape interactions between the multiple actors involved in the identification, design and implementation of a policy. This means that the current challenge in administrative modernization is not the improvement of organizations' competency and efficiency, but to modify their mind-setto replace their self-centered logic for an unselfish one" (Brugué, 2005: 4) .

In collaborative participation, the ICT, best known as Web 2.0, is an important tool that shows that people are well-informed about everything and when given the opportunity of gathering around a network and in groups, they can be efficient in problem solving and not just in making judgements about them. This explains what Noveck (2010) says: collaboration is a form of democratic participation that is egalitarian -but egalitarian in a different way than the traditional understanding of the term. The changes made by globalization processes have created a network society resulting in a different perception of participation based on collaboration (Castells, 2008; 1999).

The fact that people is well informed makes them to be willing to participate with their skills, knowledge, experiences, information and enthusiasm to support the management and public policy; therefore, an innovating management will set up the mechanisms and Smart institutions to make use of technology and connect with the citizens, thereby making collaboration an open participation that "is merely a kind of public participation through interactive communication tools such as blogs, microblogs or social networks. It is mainly based on the expression of social media to connect people and help them sharing their ideas" (Cusba, 2012: 119) .

This new technological generation (Web 2.0), created through the use of the social media, is established on the basis of three required components to understand the new role of next-generation technologies inside public administrations:

On one hand individuals become the principal actors of creation organization addition, combination, interchange opinion and assessment of web contents; on the other hand, in a Web 2.0 environment, innovation in the public sectors linked to the public outside the conventional limits of the organization; and to end, Web 2.0 expresses a transformation in value creation processes since people can carry out several activities that in the past required the intervention of an expert, a bureaucrat, a company, a political party, etcetera (Criado, 2013: 3).

It is precisely here where we need to understand the meaning of information capital, essential for the articulation of a public management innovation platform. Regarding this capital as a tool to drive innovation based on civic know-hows because it analyzes relational data in public management as a specific link between the two types of generated information (in-person or virtual), and the actor's role around it. It characterized by the citizen's role in the appropriation process and the institutional operation of networks.

From the latter, this question is raised: which are the democratizing and civic effects of information capital? First, information is made available in the sense that data becomes public value. This means a transparent relationship between citizens and government in which this last guides its work to the interests of the people, incorporating them accordingly to the interactive process of public services. The second democratizing effect is that information networks allow citizens and non-state actors to collaborate in the process of public policy making and decision, and at the same time they can demand the accountability to the authority (Mariñez, 2015; 2009).

In this way, the collaborative participation is more engaged with the civic matter tan with the classic participationist view which is disconnected from decision making and public policy. Hence, collaborative public participation is a civic know-how used to achieve the goals of the innovation in public management, serving as a means for "power redistribution that allows the citizens, currently excluded from political and economic processes, to deliberately participate in the future" (Harrison et al., 2011: 4 ).

In this sense, Vigoda (cited by Dougherty et al., 2011) suggests

the necessity of an improved model of collaboration in which citizens and public administrators are partners. Under the "citizen as partner" model, government agents are responsible for defining strategic and empowering citizens via training and coordination of voluntary citizen activities. (Dougherty et al., 2011: 522 ).

Procedure of collaborative participation for civic know-hows activation

The new logic of collaborative participation requires the connection, the dialogue, the association and exchange to build decisions and legitimate public policies. It refers to a participation included in a new correlation between government and citizens which needs a different procedure using for that the strength of institutions for public developments with civic know-hows. (Table 2).

But to achieve institutional strength there are issues to overcome like the setting up of technical, institutional and political were inbound threats and opportunities are a key factor. According to Bardach (2008) the technical issue includes aspect like resource acquisition, design and application of an operating system (that is, a system to perform base level tasks), the creation and maintenance of a communications network and the environmental disposition of (justified) reliance , the empowerment and legitimization of an implementation process (governance) and a team of individuals to execute it. Concerning institutional and political challenges it is important to have an institutional design which enhances work amongst agencies (departments) and between these and citizens.

With the previously mentioned components, collaborative participation may be expressed through a combination of inclusive activities and articulated which imply total change of the organizational and management of governmental agencies both centralized and decentralized. A culture of innovative development in a public organization implies co-innovation, collaboration, co-creation, transparency, integrated communications, horizontality and a new institutional vision in the implementing structure of management itself and of public decisions based on argumentation, communication models and governance. (Peters, 2014).

Based on Lukensmeyer et al. (2010) there are three participation categories which include the different activities of collaborative participation:

  1. Online participation: It is characterized by the commitment of citizens in being involved in government plans and by the use of ICT through crowdsourcing or ideas, contests, wikis, open forums online for chat between citizens and government officials and the media.

  2. Face to face participation: A participation with collaborative vision must include activities where using face to face interaction consensus can be built between citizens, stakeholders and public servants. For this purpose, the most common participation methods are public hearing sessions: some forums aimed at stakeholders and others for citizens.

  3. Formal participation: Government rules and regulations anticipate several formal means which governmental dependencies must consult the public to solicit goods or participation. A public office with an inclusive strategy relies on this kind of participation frequently with information about ongoing programs where citizens or interest groups have taken part in a specific year, using traditional channels to interact with the public.

In this way two kinds of participation are the most common: Citizen Councils and rule production schemes.

It is important to point out that these forms of collaborative participation are deeply linked with civic engagement as well as the abilities of public servants and the civic know-how of the citizens. Regarding public servants "important is who is representing an organization, agency, or jurisdiction at the table and whether they have the necessary skills to be an effective collaborator." (O'Leary and Vij, 2012: 515 ). Referring to civic know-how, the diverse kinds of citizen and community projects are taken into consideration to motivate and coordinate multiple efforts of public and social innovation.

Following this approach to innovation Eggers (2009) proposes a set of competencies and abilities with an attitude toward collaboration for public servants: ability to associate, influence and negotiate, interpersonal abilities, creativity and innovation, awareness of the external context, entrepreneur, conflict resolution and conflict management. And so public servants should be able to create structures, processes, practices, communication norms, patterns and other innovation management in the government which nowadays would not be obstacles for an inclusive networking government but key players in this process (Fountain, 2005).

As a conclusion

This article explains from the beginning the importance of civic know-hows in the innovation of public management. It stablishes that the analysis center of innovation in public management must go hand in hand with the democratic strengthening just as the civic and societal know-hows of the citizens together with governments. Thus the know-how become substantial aspects of governmental innovation because civic engagement, civic intelligence, social control and collaborative participation allows the growth that entrepreneurism which is in need of competencies and abilities that generate the capability to resolve public issues adding value to the work of the public sector where a lot of talent and effort in or around public management is available to overcome these challenges.

Sustained in this article's objectives detailed in the introduction and making a theoretic revision to analyze how has the civic engagement, civic intelligence, social control and most of all collaborative participation been discussed, we have built a frame of interactions amongst these concepts and also the way in which they relate to public management.

In doing so we have perceived innovation in public management in two directions: first to the agreements of citizens, government and not government workers which allow to identify public issues and also new tools and devices to respond and solve problems in a public setting. Second, as a consequence of this the democratic modalities of articulations by these public management performers resulting in a new setting between the state and society that assures collective learning and civic know-hows needed to achieve quality and inclusive management.

Therefore, the components of the civic know-how are fundamental democratic parts to achieve innovation in a participative public management. As to civic engagement we have stated that innovation in a participative public management requires several kinds of citizen dialogue and debate that should be inclusive to make public policies and decisions. In this way inclusion is important when we speak of civic engagement its goal it to provide people with a sense of direction to make associative and community activities be heard by the government and contribute to better decision making. Civic engagement is an essential point of citizen participation that assures every citizen carries out their civic, political and social rights.

In order for civic engagement to take place it is important that citizens use their civic intelligence, another one of the civic know-hows, because it allows citizens and groups of society to create and implement efficient, equal and sustainable strategies to share public problems and solutions. In this sense citizen take advantage of web 2.0 tools to acquire resources, knowledge, experience or time (open collaboration) for co-creation of public decisions and that's the civic part of civic intelligence for innovation of public management.

Taking as a starting point that innovations in the organization, process and the distribution of public services must be monitored and evaluated by citizens and their organizations. As we have remarked using social software we could develop a series of applications with the purpose of increasing communicative possibilities and networking with others. This collaborative tools that link a group of people to facilitate the information flow (schedules, messages, complaints) and the creation of collaborative work amongst them (shared monitoring of public policies).

That is why we proposed four axis that make social control more effective: collective transparency, organization and the capabilities of citizen, access to information and the axis referring to public affairs which implies all the participants that intervene in the production of public value are subjected to be controlled by their actions.

This leads us to set participation in the logic of collaboration because using the web 2.0 citizens become protagonist of creation, organization edition, combination, exchange, commentary and evaluation of web content and also in the making of social networks where they interact and connect amongst them. Also in the web 2.0 environment innovation in public management is linked to the public that is outside of the formal limits of the organization and it not only has the power to create information and content but also to evaluate them continually. Another element used by collaborative participation is that through Web 2.0 transformation in the value creation process is expressed because people may perform several activities that previously required the participation of a professional, a bureaucrat, an organization, a political party, etc.

With innovative management aimed this way other democratizing axis such as transparency, personal responsibility and access to information will be activated. But at this work stablishes challenges are needed like the building of the technical, institutional and political process to face incoming threats and opportunities which work as active articulatory elements between citizens, government and not government workers. These elements are the ones that imprint a significant political change in the way to govern trough innovation in participative management.

We have observed several theoretical-practical challenges in innovation of public management based on civic know-hows. The success of this kind of innovation is related to the degree in which the organization is aimed at it and not just a part of it. This leads us to ask the following questions: what kinds of public organizations are innovative and who conducts this innovations? How does the public sector innovate organizations and how do they get access and use the new knowledge generated by coproduction and co-creation? What public servants does public management requires to structure, organize and promote innovation in public management? In public management and governments which carry traits of patriotism, lack of professionalization and opacity, these innovative tendencies are pushed by civic know-hows as sociopolitical management practices.


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Source: own elaboration.

Table 1: Types of innovation in public management 

Source: own elaboration.

Table 2: Types of participation and their relationship with institutional elements 

1In Carta Iberoamericana de Participación Ciudadana en la Gestión Pública (Ibero-American Charter of Citizen Participation in Public Management) (2009: 1) it is stated that "Ibero-American contemporary societies ask each time even stronger for the expansion and deepening of democracy as a political system, particularly the democratization of public management."

2The table may be found in the Annex at the end of this document (editor's note).

3The term Web 2.0 was created in 2005 by Tim O'Reilly, who defines the seven constitutive elements of Web 2.0 applications: the Web as platform; harnessing collective intelligence; database management as a core competency; end of software release cycle; lightweight programming models and the quest for simplicity; software above the level of a single device; and rich user experiences.

Received: October 23, 2014; Accepted: September 14, 2015

Freddy Mariñez Navarro. Ph.D. in Political Sociology, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. Specialist in Public Policy, Public Management, Governance and Public Innovation. Research professor of Doctorate in Humanistic Studies at Tecnológico de Monterrey (Campus Monterrey), Mexico. Member of the National System of Researchers of CONACYT, Mexico, Level II. Research topics: public management, public policies, governance and civil society participation. Recent publications: Innovación Pública. Para que funcionarios y ciudadanos actúen con saberes civiles, Mexico: Fontamara (2015); Co-authored with José Fernández Santillán, La perspectiva internacional de los partidos políticos en México, Mexico: Fontamara (2014); Co-authored with Rafael Valenzuela Mendoza, Gobierno Abierto: ¿más innovación?, ¿más gobierno?, ¿más sociedad?, ¿en qué consiste? Propuestas para los gobiernos locales, Mexico: Miguel Ángel Porrúa (2013); Hagamos entre todos la política pública. Una reflexión sobre la visión relacional de la política pública, Mexico: Miguel Ángel Porrúa (2011).

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