Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Inter-Organizational Collaboration and Innovation in the Public Safety Sector

What are the various forms of inter-organizational collaboration in the public safety sector? How are different forms of inter-organizational collaborative arrangements related? What is the relationship between inter-organizational collaboration and innovation in the public safety sector?

European Union FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN European Union FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN

Megan Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate at the international graduate school on Networks, Information Technology and Innovation Management (NITIM) hosted by the University of Leiden, Faculty Campus The Hague, CTC. Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7),  Megan’s research examines inter-organizational collaboration and innovation in the public safety sector. With shrinking budgets and changing risk landscapes, localities around the world are implementing and considering new forms of emergency service delivery. From joint training, co-location and co-response to complete organizational consolidation of ambulance, police and fire departments,  the emergency service sector, and the public safety landscape more generally, is undergoing fascinating changes. With a wave of interest in these trends from a variety of stakeholders (at local, national and international levels), this research aims to provide practical knowledge to policy-makers and practitioners, while contributing to public administration and organizational science theory.


Megan is also interested in design thinking, and the role that design principles and methods can play in improving public services. Public sector innovation often requires a break away from historical thinking. This is especially so in the public safety sector, among organizations with as rich of histories and noble legacies as stereotypical police, fire and ambulance services. As such, decision-makers in local and national governments are increasingly adopting design-led innovation to drive more efficient public service delivery and strategic policy decision-making processes. This interest manifests in her passion for gameful design and serious play in understanding complex inter-organizational relationships, particularly in the public safety sector. Megan has developed and conducted a number of table-top simulation games for professionals in the public safety sector and students of the Master in Crisis and Security Management, offered by Leiden University. She is interested in collaborating to expand design thinking and serious play in academia, the public sector and beyond.  




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