Storming or performing? Local Enterprise Partnerships two years on

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Journal Article
Local Economy, 2013, 28 (7-8), pp. 863 - 874
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Local Enterprise Partnerships are a key feature of the Coalition Government's attempts to support economic growth. In light of each of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships reaching their second birthday by 2013 there is merit in considering what advances have been made in the intervening period. Viewed by the state, amongst others, as the latest intended policy fix in a complex lineage of 'adjourned' agencies, the article looks at how they might evolve over future years, including analysing whether they will survive institutional oblivion beyond the next general election. It is clear that each Local Enterprise Partnership is at a different stage of development, but why is this so? The article utilises Tuckman's theory of group development to explore the characteristics of economic partnerships and provide some explanations pertaining to their varied development trajectories. It concludes that if Local Enterprise Partnerships receive more tangible responsibilities and resources over the coming years then, in order to perform, some may deem it necessary to establish more formal arrangements, not too dissimilar to the 'economic development agency' model. Yet for those economic partnership configurations that remain mired in the 'storming' phase, they may need to consider 'adjourning' and/or '(re)forming'. © The Author(s) 2013.
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