Innovation as a practice of care. Exploring the “human side” of innovation processes in the Danish and Italian public healthcare

Much innovative activity today includes complex social processes and is incremental, not patented and with little or no formal R&D. Hence, innovation management scholars have pointed out the need to explore the “human side” of innovation, focusing on the people who harness their creative ideas and transform them into new products and services, but also carry out, test and put into daily usage such innovations.

In the public healthcare system, innovation entails a range of complex outputs, where product and process novelties are combined, and tangibility and intangibility are intertwined. Innovation in the system tends to be difficult, costly, and hierarchical. Despite it being one of the most complex and fast-moving sector, with new understanding of diseases and how to tackle these being developed at an incredible speed, a limited number of innovations is successfully adopted into every day, mainstream practices. Yet, much of the innovation taking place in the field remains unknown, with mechanisms that lead to successful innovative services still underexplored.

This study embraces the call for research focusing on the roles and motivation of actors involved in innovation and operating at the very core of the system. It does so by exploring healthcare professionals’ roles, motivation, and perceptions of innovation processes.






Caterina Manfrini

Research Host

University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

PhD awarding institution/s

University of Copenhagen (UCPH) & RMIT University


Copenhagen (Denmark)



RMIT and many of the REDI partners are HSR4R certified

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034328.

Results reflect the author’s view only. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains

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