Management Practice Insights


Management Practice Insights

Year: 2023, Volume: 1, Issue: 2, Pages: 41-45

Original Article


Received Date:22 June 2023, Accepted Date:19 August 2023, Published Date:12 October 2023


Problem of practice: The world over, some of the most challenging and resource-intensive areas of development are entrusted to the state. Basic infrastructure such as utilities, public healthcare, public transport, rail, roads and ports – often face long gestation periods for return on capital, and tricky issues of land acquisition, environmental impact, and pricing of a public good. Such issues lend these assets to state ownership, especially in developing countries. State enterprises are fundamental to long-term health of the economy. Unfortunately, state enterprises are often marred by red tape and political indifference or interference, and are rarely associated with innovation. Sometimes though, there do emerge bureaucrats who succeed in moving mountains. What differentiates these individual innovators and how do we identify them? Research by Vassallo and team identifies the traits of such individuals.1 This essay highlights the importance of such public sector intrapreneurs, and elaborates an approach to finding these rare talents


1 Jarrod P. Vassallo et al., “Design Thinking and Public Sector Innovation: The Divergent Effects of Risk-Taking, Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy on Individual Performance,” Research Policy 52, no. 6 (July 1, 2023): 104768,

2 “Guillaume Pepy, SNCF CEO: Ambitious for French Public Transport | Financial Times,” accessed August 28, 2023, 313cf910-36de-11e5-b05b-b01debd57852.

3 Talal Husseini, “Tracing the History of Exploration in the Brazilian Pre- Salt Oil Region,” Offshore Technology (blog), October 4, 2018, https://www.

4 Zippia, “China Mobile History: Founding, Timeline, and Milestones - Zippia,” August 27, 2020, history/.

5 Nicole Kylie, “Starting Off Small: The Story Of Emirates’ Foundation,” Simple Flying, March 25, 2023, sec. History,

6 “The German Economy: From European Leader to Laggard,” The Economist, August 17, 2023,

7 Jarrod P. Vassallo et al., “Design Thinking and Public Sector Innovation.”

8 Moneycontrol News, “Lok Sabha Polls 2019: Number of Polling Booths, Voters and Other Key Facts,” Moneycontrol, March 11, 2019,

9 Rachit Garg, “Role of T.N. Seshan in Election Reforms in India,” IPleaders (blog), November 28, 2021,

10 Sebastian Morris, The Difficulty of Being Gajendra Haldea (London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023)


© 2023 Published by SPJIMR. This is an open-access article under the CC BY license (


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