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3 Factors Preventing Collaboration in the Public Sector

by | Apr 19, 2013 | Government Entities

Budget constraints have forced the public sector to rethink how agencies collaborate with each other. In fact, a recent poll revealed that 96 percent of public sector employees said they believed that stronger relationships with consultants, other agencies and the public would be beneficial to their own agencies. If this is the case, then why do so few agencies take the time to create meaningful collaborations that foster innovative changes? According to Rob White, Chief Innovation Officer for Davis, Calif., there are three core forces that hinder collaboration in the public sector:

Fear. People fear the unknown. When you collaborate and develop new ideas, there’s likely to be a change in your routine, career and overall way of life. Some agencies feel that it’s best to just avoid change all together and keep things the way they are.

Threat. Sometimes collaboration calls for changes in control and power. However, people in government tend to feel threatened when they no longer feel in control, which is why they put off innovative efforts.

Lack of rewards or incentives for taking risks. There isn’t a lot of room for individual recognition in the public sector, which is why many agencies feel why risk collaboration if there is no immediate reward?

For more information on why the public sector is hesitant to collaborate, please visit

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