Play at work, learning and innovation

Tony Kinder*, Jari Stenvall, Ally Memon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Suggesting a virtuous triangle constituting public service innovation of new governances, innovation and learning, the paper examines how and why a particular mode of learning occurs: that of play. Having identified an absence of research literature on play as a catalyst for new ideas in public services, the paper argues that the diversified nature of public services and disciplinary intermixing offers fertile ground for playing with new service ideas. Our conception of play avoids functional interpretations, such as Amabile or individualizing the results of play and instead draws upon Vygotsky’s social learning theory to conceptualize play as a group activity from which new ideas emerge and suggest a new framework for understanding purposive play at work and the contribution it can make to public service innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-399
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number3
Early online date9 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Play at work, learning and innovation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this