Sustainable development as an innovation opportunity in the management model of public organizations

Project facts

Project promoter
University of Granada (UGR)
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 40,749
The project is carried out in:


The growing concern for sustainability has led society to demand that governments and public organizations behave more responsibly in order to achieve social equity, economic development and ecological balance. The objective of the project is to analyze the cases of Spain and Norway in relation to sustainable development, to compare their strategic and structural changes. The aim of this project is to provide clear recommendations and proposals on how to achieve or improve citizen participation and education related to the impact and the improvement of sustainable development. The research will provide a series of reports with recommendations and conclusions.Project beneficiaries will be public organizations and the general public. The donor partner, the Arctic University of Norway, has great experience in the fields of mathematics and statistics, quantitative comparative political science and sociology. the project promoter has previously developed research focused on the subject of environmental management and innovation.

Summary of project results

The public sector plays an essential role in developed cities and countries by generating an advantageous business climate, which can also have a deep influence on the economic and innovative performance of corporations. The public sector plays a vital economic role as regulator, service provider and employer. It is responsible for over 25% of total employment and a significant proportion of economic activity in the EU. In addition, an efficient and productive public sector can be a powerful engine for economic growth through support for the private sector. The research project’s overall objective and activity is to examine the specific cases of Spain and Norway regarding sustainable development, and analyze and compare the strategic and structural changes in the municipalities, city halls and public organizations as responses and adaptations to demands from different social spheres. The resilience exhibited by the city halls and public organizations has spurred a range of innovations in the way these organizations are managed in order to responds to the new attitudes and values defined by sustainable development. By identifying and analyzing those municipalities that have managed to integrate the sustainable development as an innovation lever into its management we will be able, first, to define management models for achieving sustainable goals, and second, to identify the characteristics that define these municipalities from those that have not noticed this opportunity. The intent of the team is publishing these results and they believe that it is essential that the recommendations reach the largest number of agents in order to be applied. Diffusing the results and conclusions of the project both to the general public and academia will be a priority. They intend to attend various national and international conferences and publish various articles in journals, such as the 25 Annual RESER Conference and others. The main results of the analysis performed with Norwegian level data will be presented as a paper at the National Political Science Congress in Kristiansand January 6-8th 2016. The project has raised further analysis and projects which partners hope will result in new contributions to conferences and scientific publications.

Summary of bilateral results

Partners have developed a joint research, and are presenting results in different events, and preparing joint publications to make result available to the public. Once they have finished the investigation, partners hope to obtain a comparison between the situation of Spain and Norway in terms of sustainable development. The aim is to offer benefits for both countries and extend the results to other countries both the European Union and beyond. The research will provide information on the drivers of innovation in these countries that contribute to achieve greater sustainability thereof reflected in economic growth, social welfare and environmental improvements. Furthermore, analyses of institutional factors affecting sustainable development of both countries will give them the keys to propose improvements on the country level. Here, partners focus on results on investment in sustainability of both countries as an opportunity to innovate and achieve sustainable development goals. They shall test the hypotheses developed in the previous sections through the advanced statistical techniques based on data previously obtained and on a vast amount of data tied to the municipalities of the two countries obtained through official statistics. In summary, the research will provide a series of reports with recommendations and conclusions for the economic, social and environmental improvements of both countries, and as noted, the results and conclusions can be made extensible to other countries and regions As a result of the development of this project, partners expect to improve new lines of research and to establish further collaboration between partner universities and research groups. They have in mind new ideas working with researchers from areas of knowledge of experimental psychology, sociology, environment and urban planning, health sciences, and financial economics and accounting. Researchers involved in this project hope to develop in the medium term another joint project in the field of sustainability, which may involve other European universities with which each partner holds collaboration.