A Case Study for the GCC Region:AGU Researcher Recommends Developing Clear Strategies, Priorities to Enhance Innovation Resilience and Improve the Public Sector’s Ability to Confront Future Crises

Ms. Moudhi Yousef Al Mansour, researcher at the Arabian Gulf University (AGU), recently concluded a study titled “Exploring Innovation Resilience for Public Services in Times of Crisis: A Case Study for the Gulf Cooperation Council region”.

The study illustrated the perspective of employees working in the public sector in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach, her research follows a convergent parallel design to collect data through a systematic review of previous literature, semi-structured personal interviews, and a cross-sectional survey questionnaire.

Ms. Al Mansour aimed to explore the resilience of innovation in public services in times of crises by analysing previous literature and the main concepts of innovation in public services, arriving at seven main forms of innovation in services, as the objective analysis of the interviews she conducted with 30 leadership figures from senior managers and supervisors in the public sector highlighted 15 innovation resilience priorities in public services and six strategies in the health and education sector over three periods before, during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

The results showed two types of strategies that were not affected by the occurrence of the crisis, which are: the strategy of benefiting from experiences, and the strategy of multi-level and multi-stage preparation, while the other four strategies included only two stages of the Covid-19 crisis, which are: communication strategies (before and during), and empowerment and delegation strategies (before and during), digital transformation and restructuring strategy (during and after), and response and control strategy (during and after).

The analysis of the survey questionnaire included 374 responses from employees of the Ministry of Education and Health in three GCC countries, where the statistical analysis of the questionnaire concluded that there was a positive effect of the independent variables (behaviour, personal standards, perception of behavioural control, simulated pressures) on the dependent variable (Innovation resilience before, during, and after the crisis) with the mediating role (behavioural intention). The effect of coercive pressures, normative pressures on innovation resilience before, during, and after the crisis, was not supported under the mediating role of behavioural intention.

During the discussion, the researcher recommended developing clear strategies and priorities to enhance innovation resilience and improve the public sector’s ability to confront future crises, along with a number of practical solutions related to enhancing innovation resilience.

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