OPTIMA chair: Business administration and loal management innovation

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E2S: Energy and Environment Solutions
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OPTIMA chairBusiness administration and loal management innovation

In 2014, after nearly twenty years of work at UPPA on programs in the field of public managemant, David Carassus, professor of business administration, created the OPTIMA chair, which he now directs. This observatory of Business Administration and Local Management Innovation connects local authorities (elected officials and civil servants), academics specialized in local government management and the public and private partners of local government.

The goal is to improve understanding of local practices in terms of innovation, and to help communicate them, while at the same time being a resource for management tools and models in response to current contextual constraints. OPTIMA contributes to our understanding of territorial innovations on multiple levels: - political, - strategic, - administrative, - organisational, - behavioral, - digital, - marketing. The perspective always takes into account the ever changing current context.

Any kind of territorial public policy can be an object of research for this chair. Like social policy, sports policy or cultural policy,

energy and environmental policies are considered in terms of their managerial elements. Indeed, several questions arise when they are applied.

The first of these questions concerns how well the various parties involved (elected officials, public employees, users of public services) understand these transitions. Studies are possible on the communication, training and marketing of these transitions as related to the involved parties. A second question concerns the administration of public energy and environmental policy, especially when several actors are implicated. Analyses of the management of the transversal nature of these kinds of public policies is very relevant, not only within a given public sphere (interactions between services or departments, or with other public policies), but also in the interactions with external, private sector actors, who are often the source of innovation. A third question concerns the overall performance of energetic and environmental transitions. What is the social value of these evolutions? Do they have positif effects on a given geographical area, for example in terms of sustainability and attractivity? What are the best ways to implement these transitions (among actors, with benificiaries, etc.)? These are some of the questions that we consider in our research.

Local areas are faced with the challenges of energy and environmental transition on a variety of levels, one of which is organizational. The role of management research is to

  • provide a diagnostic of existing practices and of their impact,
  • to understand their origins or the obstacles to their application in order to provide local actors with specific innovations adapted to their situations.

Along these lines, OPTIMA was at the origin of a Workgroup dedicated to energy and information transitions. The Workgroup included researchers, practicians and ENGIE, a large corporation in the energy sector that backs E2S.