The Egyptian public sector always described as a highly centralized system, with an inflexible hierarchical structure and high levels of formal relationships channeling its communications through public enterprises and institutions. Even establishing the local administration system as an approach of decentralization, it still highly connected and governed by the central government. On the other hand, innovation in public sector studies and application in last two decades gained much interest from scholars, practitioners and even leaders and policy makers as an approach to enhance public sector efficiency and effectiveness. Accordingly, this study aims to explore innovation in the public sector in Egypt, evaluating the extent to which it permits innovation. In addition, it aims to analyze experiences of innovation, if any, within the public sector in Egypt, discussing them in relation to the latest advances in academic understandings of innovation. The local administration system has been selected as a model to be examined in this study as it can represent the public sector in Egypt on a larger scale, as it is a core part of this sector. The study evaluates the laws, structures, and dynamics that constitute the framework of the local administration system. Furthermore, it explores the main constraints on innovation within the system. To develop and support the argument, which emerges from the literature review, this study employs qualitative research methods, namely interviews, as a method to collect data from various informants working in and/or with the public sector. The study draws the broad conclusion that the current laws, structures, and dynamics of the public sector in Egypt discourage innovation. However, the study also uncovers evidence of innovation in the public sector, of a type in harmony with recent advances in contemporary academic understandings of innovation. In addition, the study found the existence of different types of innovative applications like product, service, and process occurred more frequently than other categories of innovation, such as organizational and strategic innovation. It also found that leadership plays an effective role within the public administration system in Egypt. These examples of innovation flourished only when they were applied in parallel with, not within, the current laws, structures, and dynamics of the local administration system in the public sector. Nevertheless, poorly skilled staff with low wages, the absence of a competitive spirit, a lack of positive culture and bad working conditions, along with rigid centrality and apathy all constitute real barriers to the flourishing and dissemination of innovation within Egypt’s public sector.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2016

First Advisor

Dr. Ali, Hamid

Committee Member 1

Dr. Barsoum, Ghada

Committee Member 2

Dr. Abdelhalim, Khaled


84 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


First and foremost, words fail to express my deep thanks and deep gratitude to the Almighty Allah for being with me all the time, as well as for His blessings and for giving me the strength and capabilities necessary to complete my studies. My gratitude and respect goes to my supervisor Dr. Hamid Ali Eltgani for his supervision and guidance, which he offered me in accomplishing this work. I am also indebted to the reader Dr. Khalid Abdelhalim who gave me his precious time and effort whenever needed; there is nothing I can say but simply - thank you indeed. In addition, I would like to thank the reader Dr. Ghada Barsoum for her kindness and dedication. She taught me several important lessons in life. Words of thanks should also go to the faculty member Dr. Laila El-Baradaee for her continuous support and assistance. I would also like to extend my thanks to the previous reader and faculty member Dr. Khaled Amen for his guidance. Thanks and appreciation are also due to some special friends and colleagues, especially Dr. Mohammed Mustafa and his family, Dr. Hazim Hamed, Andreea Marusceac, Valerie Carpenter, Nahla Mahmoud, Sawsan Mardini, Yasmine Ibrahim, Hend Al Helaly, Enas Abdel Azim, Sally Barsoum and Mariez Wasfi. I would also like to thank here the Tatweer and Nadmi Auchi Fellowship Programs. On this occasion, I could never forget to express my gratefulness and appreciation to the special members of my big family. I am deeply grateful to my dear late father and my beloved mother, the first woman teacher in the county at that time, for all their continuous sacrifices and prayers for me. I am indebted to them for life. I would like also to thank my brother, sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brothers-inlaw and sisters-in-law for their continual encouragement, support, and the magnanimous stance they have taken. Last but not least, my study would never have seen the light and been accomplished without the love, patience, and support of my soul mate and beloved wife Huda Alaa, who had to endure hardships for my sake.