Policy Ventures:
Innovation in Public Organisations


Public organisations are central for a well-functioning society. They need to maintain stability in what they do, but also innovate and change to meet societal challenges and serve the people. This course provides knowledge in the dynamics of, and challenges entailed with, developing and innovating public organisations. The course features case studies where course participants work together with public organisations to contribute to citizen welfare. The course prepares students for working in, advising, and running innovation projects with public organisations.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe and explain the key features of public organisations
  • Apply theories of organisation, forms of governance, entrepreneurship, and innovation to analyse empirical cases of public organisations
  • Diagnose challenges for public organisations seeking to deliver high-quality legitimate services in an efficient way to societal stakeholders
  • Evaluate initiatives and policies aimed at improving public organisations
  • Formulate strategic or tactical agendas for public organisations seeking to
    initiate change and improvement


The aim of this course is to provide in-depth knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship in publicly funded welfare by exploring how innovation and entrepreneurship is regulated, organised and practiced in three areas of welfare services; healthcare, residential care for children and youth, and long-term care for older and disabled people. The motivating question of the course is: under what conditions can innovation and entrepreneurship in publicly funded welfare services benefit both quality and equality? Findings for Sweden will be compared and contrasted with research on Anglo-Saxon and Asian countries, where the context of welfare services differs compared to Sweden.

Teaching and learning activities

The course provides interactive lectures, research based as well as practical literature (research articles and book chapters), and live cases as the bases for learning. Homework and independent studies are necessary complements to the course. The three elements in the course are introduced in the order as presented above. The students’ knowledge of the literature content will be tested early in the course, for them to be able to analytically apply concepts and perspectives from the literature in subsequent cases and discussions, developing an elevated understanding of the course topics. Practitioners’ presentations and live cases imply an important course prerequisite for theory driven analysis and further knowledge acquirement.

Grades and form of assessment

Students will be required to satisfactorily complete all of the course assignments in order to receive a passing grade. Grading is based on an individual in-class written examination (30% of grade, early in the course, pass necessary to be able to continue the course), two short individual term papers (15% each of grade) and a live case conducted in student groups, presented and discussed in class (40% of grade).


Attendance is mandatory.

Additional information

The course language is English.
The course is offered within the framework of the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
Responsible institution: Stockholm School of Economics

Literature and teaching aids

Literature will be announced in connection to the start and communicated to enrolled students.


2024-11-05 - 2024-12-31

Course type



The course runs after 5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in 2-3 hour sessions.

Course Number

KTH: ME2835, SSE: BE932


7.5 ECTS-credits

Taught At

Stockholm School of Economics

Swedish Course Name

Policysatsningar: Innovation i offentliga organisationer