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NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOLNMonterey, California
PAULA KT NG
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'irect-r, 1 et Assessmerit Nationa', Security Cucil StaffCr:eiveSreQie - ffice Washington, ,C 20506
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NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOLMONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
Rear Admiral R.W. West, Jr. Harrison ShullSupeiintendent Provost
The work reported herein was supported and funded by theDirector, Net Assessment, Research Council of the NavalPostgraduate School, Minnesota Research Program OrganizationalEffectiveness Research Program Office.
Reproduction of all or part of this report is authorized.
This report was prepared by:
Reviewed by: Released by:
THOMAS C. BRUNEAU KNEALE i. ,IARSHALL,Professor Dean of Information ndChairman Policy SciencesDepartment of NationalSecurity Affairs
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PUBLIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A TYPOLOGY
12 PERSONAL AUTHOR(S,
NANCY ROBERTS/PAULA KING13a TYPE OF REPORT 3b TME COVERED 14 DATE O r REPORT (Year, Month, Day) 'S PAGE COUN-
FINAL ROM 1986 TO 1989 89 AUGUST 0116 SUPPLEMENTARv NOTATIO%Paper presented to the Public Sector Division of the Academy of Management and awardedBest Paper of the Public Sector Division, 1989.17 COSATi CODES 18 SUBJECT TERMS (Continue on reverse if necessary and identify by block number)
FIELD GROUP SuB-GROcY POLITICAL ENTREPRENEUR POLICY INTELLECTUAL
EXECUTIV[ ENTREPRENEU< POLICY ENTREPRENEURBUREAUCRATIC ENTREPRENEUR
19 ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse if necessary and identify by block number)
Public entrepreneurship is the process of introducing innovation, the generation andimplementatinn of new ideas, in the public sector. Building on tnis definition and drawingfrom a logical tree, four types of public sector entrepreneurs are identified: policyentrepreneurs, bureaucratic entrepren .urs, executive entrepreneurs; and politicalentrepreneurs.
Pnlicy Entrepreneurs, outside the formal positions of government, introduce andfacilitate the implementation of new ideas into the public sector. BureaucraticEntrepreneurs occupy nor-leadership positions in government and introduce and implement newideas from their particular vantage point in public organizations. Executive Entrepreneursfrom their leadership positions i- governmental agencies and departments, generate andimplement new ideas; and finally, Political Entrepreneur introduce and implement ne,. ideasas holders of elective office.
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19. Urawing on this typology, implications for future research on and pratice ofpublic entrepreneurship are explored.
Additional sponsors are: Research Foundation of the Naval Postgraduate School,Minnesota Research Program Organizational Effectiveness Research Program Office.
Nancy Roberts Accession ForAssociate Professor
Naval Postgraduate School NTIS CFA&!DTIC 1'.
Paula KingAssistant Professor
St. John's University
Please address correspondence to:
Professor Nancy RobertsCode 54RC
Naval Postgraduate SchoolMonterey, CA 93943
Funding for this research during 1988-1989 come form OSD/NETAssessment, and during 1986-1988, from the Research Council of theNaval Postgraduate Schcol in Monterey California. From 1983 to1985, funds came from a grant to the Minnesota Research Programfrom the Organizational Effectiveness Research Program, Office ofNaval Research (Code 4220E), under Contract No. 00014-84-0016.
We are indebted to Ray Bradley, Andy Van De Ven, Tim Mazzoni, JohnBryson, and Les Garner for their suggestions and help on our workon public entrerreneurship.
Paper presented to the Public Sector Division of the Academy ofManagement and awarded Best Paper of the Public Sector Division,1989.
PUBLIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A TYPOLOGY
Public entrepreneurship is the process of introducing inno-
vation, the generation and implementation of new ideas, in the
public sector. Building on this definition and drawing from a
logical tree, four types of public sector entrepreneurs are
identified: policy entrepreneurs, bureaucratic earepreneurs,
executive entrepreneurs; and political entrepreneurs.
Policy Entrepreneurs, outside the formal positions of gov-
ernment, introduce and facilitate the implementation of new ideas
into the public sector. Bureaucratic Entrepreneurs occupy non-
leadership positions in government and introduce and implement
new ideas from their particular vantage point in public organiza-
tions. Executive Entrepreneurs from their leadership positions
in governmental agencies and departments, generate and implement
new ideas; and finally, Political Entrepreneur introduce and
implement new ideas as holders of elective office.
Drawing on this typology, implications for future research
on and practice of public entrepreneurship are explored.
PUBLIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A TYPOLOGY
Economic historian, Joseph Schumpeter, credited the
eighteenth cpntury French economist, Richard Cantillon, with
introducing the term "entrepreneur," and defining him/her as "an
agent who purchases the means of pioauction for combination into
new, marketable products" (Palmer, 1971).
Schumpeter, referred to as the "father of modern
entrepreneurial thought" builds on this earlier conceptualization
to emphasize the significance of innovation in the
entrepreneurial process. For Schumpeter, the entrepreneur's
ultimate task was innovation -- finding and utilizing new ideas
and "carrying out new combinations" of material and forces to
jostle the economy out of its otherwise repetitive cycles of
activities. Entrepreneurship, according to Schumpeter, provides
an "indispensable" driving force that powers capitalistic
economic growth (1934: 182).
Writing in Entrepreneurial Man, Collins and associates
underscore the importance of innovation, referring to the entre-
preneur as the "catalytic agent in society which (sic) sets into
motion new enterpreises, new combinations of production and
exchange" (Collins, Moore, Unwalla, 1964:17). They define the
entrepreneur as one who inovates and develops "an ongoing busi-
ness activity where none existed before" (p.20).
Since the 1960s the terms "entrepreneur" and "entrepreneur-
ship" have been appearing with increasing frequency in the public
policy and management literatures (King, 1988). With efforts to
privatize the public sector, manage rescurce scarcity, and inno-
vate and renew our public organizations, we seem to be witnessing
a period of qrowing interest in a phenomena that was once re-
served for the private sector.
Despite this interest, or perhaps because of it, we find
multiple interpretations of what it means to be a public sector
entrepreneur. We read references about public entrepreneurs
who develop and nurture their own agencies (e.g. David Lilenthal
and the TVA), sponsor innovative technolgy in their organizations
(e.g. Admiral Rickover and the U.S Navy), work toward organiza-
tion reform (e.g. Elmer Staats at GAO), and lobby Congress to
introduce innovative legislation (e.g. Ralph Nadar). These are
just a few of the case studies on entrepreneurs that have been
appearing with increasing frequency in the literature. (See Doig
and Hargrove, (1987) for further examples).
Although the case studies provide much needed documentation
of entrepreneurship in government, they present some important
challenges to the researcher. Just what is entrepreneurship in
the public sector and who is the public sector entrepreneur? How
does the concept of public sector entrepreneurship differ from
business entrepreneurship, and how should it? And how do 1.e
distinguish entrepreneurs from managers,