An application of creative problem-solving approach in forming public management competencies

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Modern bureaucratic competencies, such as creativity, innovative problem-solving, and critical thinking, have become essential in contemporary public management due to complex challenges in a wide range of areas, including the economy, social welfare, and the environment. This has led to a greater focus on developing these competencies, through innovative methods like creative problem-solving (CPS) in the training of public management specialists. The aim of this study is to identify specific competencies among public management professionals that can be cultivated through the CPS approach and to explore the critical conditions for its successful implementation. The analysis was conducted at the Military Academy of Lithuania, where CPS techniques have been consistently integrated into public management-related subjects for several years, forming a stable foundation for the in-depth investigation. First, the study examines Lithuania’s legal framework for public management and public management education to implement CPS. Second, a qualitative data analysis of open-ended feedback (n = 199) highlights practical application. The findings reveal that the Lithuanian legal context underscores the importance of fostering creativity and innovation among public managers. Furthermore, the practical integration of CPS into public management curricula promotes modern bureaucratic qualities such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, innovation, and leadership. However, effective CPS implementation requires additional curriculum time, a supportive and creative learning environment, and strong teacher and student commitment. These findings underscore CPS’s potential as a valuable tool for cultivating public management competencies.

Acknowledgment
The study is financed from the funds of the study-supporting project “Research on the Management of Security and Defense Institutions of Small States” (General Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy, 2020-12-17, No. V-828).

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    • Figure 1. Elements of creativity
    • Table 1. Students’ feedback on the advantages of CPS
    • Table 2. Students’ feedback on the things to be improved and aspects that require attention
    • Table 3. Students’ feedback on recommendations to improve CPS
    • Conceptualization
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Data curation
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Formal Analysis
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Funding acquisition
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Investigation
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Methodology
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Project administration
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė
    • Resources
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Software
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Supervision
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Visualization
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė
    • Writing – original draft
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Writing – review & editing
      Vidmantė Giedraitytė, Rasa Smaliukienė
    • Validation
      Rasa Smaliukienė