It has been more than 20 years since the “Reinventing Government” movement swept through the American public sector. Over time, the tenets of public entrepreneurship and new public management have diverged due to liability and risk aversion. One of the core elements of entrepreneurship is risk taking, and with it the likelihood of failure. The purpose of this paper is to reconcile these issues under a simple framework of “entrepreneurial governance” that works across the elements of knowledge, innovation, opportunity, and implementation.
This is primarily a set of problems (liability, risk aversion, critiques) that negatively impacts the application of public entrepreneurship. To build a framework, the author made a substantive review of the literature to “get back to basics” and clarify the problems, as well as draw fundamental concepts about entrepreneurship.
The framework was developed by applying the more current notion of “governance” with the basic elements of entrepreneurship, acknowledging that in implementation we have to account for the critiques by reinforcing responsible risk reduction and ethical decision making.
The intent was to create a framework based on fundamental aspects of entrepreneurship. The limitations/implications are that additional research will have to develop more concrete testing methods and then test the framework.
The intent here was to create a “practitioner friendly” prescriptive framework that could be almost immediately applied.
A culture shift away from risk aversion (and corrupt practices) has to allow risk taking and with it responsible risk reduction (and failure or success).
The reliance on existing literature reduces some of the originality, except to re-conceptualize public entrepreneurship in a way that accounts for its shortcomings. The value in shifting culture and responsibly reducing risk is difficult to estimate.
The author acknowledges his Department Chair, Jack Pinkowski, to prompt this journey. The research originally began as a challenge to the author to design and teach a graduate-level course in line with the mission of the College. This challenge was well outside the author’s “comfort zone” and opened another strain of our discipline to personal exploration. The author also acknowledges the invaluable assistance of “Entrepreneurship in the Polis” Panel Co-Chairs Evangelia (Evie) Petridou and Inga Aflaki, as well as other panel members and participating attendees at the July 2015 International Conference on Public Policy in Milan, Italy, for their insightful comments on the presentation of the first version of this research (and before the course syllabus gelled). Correspondence with Evie was well beyond the scope of a panel chair. She included leads on additional research, was very encouraging, and her efforts sincerely appreciated. The author finally acknowledges the constructive critique of the manuscript by the reviewers. They pointed out the holes and gave tips on how to fill them. The author believes the result is a much improved product. No external research funding was used during the entire research process, from study design to submission.
Carroll, J. (2017), "Failure is an option: the entrepreneurial governance framework", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 108-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-04-2016-0013Download as .RIS
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