December 2012
Publication:
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, John F. Kennedy School of Government

This paper is part of the Occasional Paper Series published by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

The adoption of new services and practices is widespread in public organizations as they respond to demands in the external environment and internal aspirations. In order to recognize these activities and disseminate good practices, awards programs have proliferated around the globe. Given the limited empirical analysis of the characteristics of innovation award winners, this article examines the 2010 Innovations in American Government Awards (IAGA) program. Using a quasi-experimental methodology, a sample of 234 applications, of which approximately half were selected as semifinalists and half were not, was subjected to multivariate logit analysis. Analysis reveals that the selection criteria of the IAGA played varying roles in explaining progress to the semifinalist round and that some confounding effects were identified. The implications of these findings for the future conduct of awards and ongoing research in this area is discussed.

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