Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

First Advisor

Tan, Xinjiao


This dissertation analyzes the influence of leadership, organizational, and environmental factors on stimulating local government innovations in China. The study employed 84 Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance (IECLG) award winners as the research sample. Local innovation leaders were surveyed and six local governments were selected for intensive case studies. The major conclusion of this study is that leadership level and environmental level variables play important roles in the adoption and implementation of local government innovations in China, while organizational level variables have little effect. The leadership variable "attitude toward innovation" and the environmental variable "public demand" bore the strongest relationship to the adoption and implementation of innovation while organizational variables such as "organizational formalization," "organizational centralization," and "organizational complexity" had little relevance for innovation. Other leadership variables such as "accomplishment," "competence," and "risk taking" and environmental variables such as "competition" demonstrate moderate importance in their influence on innovation. This dissertation represents an exploratory study of local government innovation in China and as such suggests ways to conduct more extensive, in-depth research.




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