Initiative for Regulatory Innovation (IRI)

One of the most important developments or events in the unit's history

The Initiative for Regulatory Innovation at CEU Business School received the research award from Google, Inc. for the most innovative research idea. IRI conducted a study of knowledge-based organizations across the Central and Eastern European region.

The most important development in 2014-15

IRI's multinational study of knowledge-based organization is coming to its conclusion with a highly original product. "Administrategy: Achieving Personal Success When Managing Public Administration" will be the first popular self-help book for managers in public administration in CEE. It will be published simultaneously in Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Hungary by reputable local publishers in August 2016. The English version will follow in 2017.

"Administrategy" is the Center's idea for supporting CEU's open society mission by speaking directly to governmental managers in the region. The goal is to win over the most competent, proactive, and creative public officials, and attract more of such people to governments. The empirical study conducted across the region has demonstrated that such public managers are out there, but they need support, inspiration, and practical tools to be more effective and influential. They, in short, need (admini)strategy for success.

"Administrategy" offers a rather unique conclusion for a research project. The book combines features of two non-fiction subgenres. On one hand, written in the second person, it resembles popular self-help books for businesspeople, such as "Winning" or "Good to Great." On the other hand, offering a concrete vision for making our governments more efficient, it enters the field of political commentary. Such a combination of a practical guide with a broader discussion about contemporary socio-economic issues has been increasingly popular in business literature. Classic examples include "Freakonomics," "The Black Swan," or the bestselling books of Malcolm Gladwell. In the discussion about the state and the public sector, however, such an approach will be relatively new, but badly needed. We have a tendency to explain away various shortcomings of our states by blaming "others" of various sorts — the system, corrupt politics, powerful interests. By favoring explorations of broad policy or institutional problems to be fixed by far-reaching reforms, mainstream commentary in the spirit of "Europe: The Faltering Project" or "Trouble in Paradise" in many ways weakens the sense of individual responsibility of members of our elites for how our government actually works. Engaging public managers directly, "Administrategy" shows how much can be fixed and improved if the change begins with our own behavior. IRI's research shows that, even in the current imperfect setting, smart attitudes and actions of public managers — especially those high in the bureaucratic hierarchy — can make institutions markedly more effective.

Apart from its innovative content and format, "Administrategy" is an experiment in a new way of popularizing ideas in Central and Eastern Europe. With four simultaneous national editions, co-authored by local professionals associated with the Center, the book will test a new model of research dissemination in the region divided in small countries, each with its own language and specificity. "Administrategy" will thus fall somewhere between a local publication and a translation. This approach will allow the Center to make a much more far-reaching practical impact in the region and beyond.