State strategies and entrepreneurial governance

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2014, 3 pp. 123 - 148
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© 2014 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – Refining and updating Harvey’s theorisation of the shift from managerialism to entrepreneurialism, this chapter charts the changing business of entrepreneurial governance through an examination of English economic development practice. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), sub-national entrepreneurial governance entities, provide the empirical lens to understand the contemporary role of private interests in the pursuit of public goals in securing innovative approaches to economic development. Methodology/approach Comparative analysis of the strategic priorities, ways of working and interventions of LEPs operating across Greater Birmingham and the North East of England is undertaken against the backdrop of a competitive environment where the mantra is ‘the market knows best’. Findings The key finding is that while some policy outcomes are prosaic, albeit across contextually distinct entrepreneurial governance places, more innovative policy approaches are emerging. Practical implications The chapter shows that there remains value in business involvement in urban governance in its present mode. A more permissive, entrepreneurial mode of governance with the liberation of private enterprise may be leading to imaginative as well as boosterist ways of securing sustainable growth. Originality/value of the chapter The chapter suggests some options for policy-makers and a series of challenges for decision-makers.
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