New conference theme announced for ISBE 2017


Following a proposal from Professor Joyce Liddle at the Institute of Public Management and Territorial Governance at Aix-Marseille University, the ISBE Board are pleased to confirm a new conference track for ISBE 2017 in Belfast – Public Sector Entrepreneurship: New approaches and perspectives on research, policy & practice.

The call for abstracts for ISBE 2017 will open in January and authors interested in the new track are encouraged to submit an abstract. The full Call for Papers for the new Public Sector Entrepreneurship track is provided below.

Call for Papers

An accelerated pace of global uncertainty, increased performance requirements, rising citizen demands, and stakeholder engagement are forcing public leaders (including political, bureaucratic and civic, or a combination of all three) to respond by being ever more entrepreneurial, using innovative ways of working, and stimulating new learning and knowledge exchange.  Universal solutions, or ‘one size fits all’ approaches to complex social problems are no longer appropriate as no one public or private agency can satisfy all citizen demands for tailoring services to personal needs.

Citizens are no longer passive consumers but empowered individuals who expect state agencies to provide more personalised services and choice, either those more akin to private provision, or increasingly through a wider range of civic providers. An iPod generation expecting personalised service delivery and rapid responses to problems needs to be set against a backdrop of ‘finite resources and infinite demands’ meaning that innovation and entrepreneurship will become even more crucial in future.   Soft skills of innovation and entrepreneurship will profoundly affect future motivation, and capacity to change, willingness to engage stakeholders and enthusiasm for continuous learning and nowadays a plurality of inter-relationships between state, market and civic institutions have become the focal point for co-production and co-responsibility of public service delivery and production of public value.

Twenty first century governance raises questions on the types of institutions, organizational and leadership capacities needed in future to synergise and harness state resources, capacities and knowledge with those of market and civic institutions.  Moreover, less hierarchical, top down, bureaucratic leadership, is being replaced by more horizontal, bottom up, facilitative and enabling entrepreneurial activities.

This ISBE theme is aimed at moving the study of entrepreneurship in the public interest from the periphery of entrepreneurship scholarship, to the core, because public organisations are relatively under–studied in entrepreneurship literature. It is also a response to challenges that urge scholars to look for explanations of innovation, creativity and enterprise practices in public service delivery. The literature in this field is still evolving so the leader of this ISBE theme is keen to welcome contributions and discussion papers across a wide range of topics broadly defined within ‘public entrepreneurship’ research, such as –

  • Is public entrepreneurship an oxymoron? Or does entrepreneurship happen in purely private/commercial settings?
  • The relevance and significance of public sector entrepreneurship in a complex governance world
  • Why and how enterprise/entrepreneurship is important for public service delivery?
  • Comparative and multi-disciplinary research on public entrepreneurship
  • Developing conceptual, theoretical and methodological frameworks for investigating public entrepreneurship
  • Multi-spatial and multi-level policies for enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship in the public sector. The role of local and national governance as entrepreneur and animateur
  • Public entrepreneurship in the ‘spaces’ between formal regulatory governance and informal, individual agency
  • Specific cases on public entrepreneurship in different sectors (education, health, economic development, or others) and settings (rural, local, partnerships)
  • Enterprising places: the role of the public entrepreneurship in transforming spaces
  • Case studies of successful public entrepreneurship: identifying the key characteristics
  • Public entrepreneurship in collaboration and partnership with non-state agencies
  • Developing communities- entrepreneurialism in engaging citizen groups
  • Professional and practice based empirical data on public entrepreneurship
  • The training and education needs of public entrepreneurs

NB The list is deliberately broad because the topic is still emerging in both scope and coverage. It is not exhaustive and the theme leader is happy to discuss any other ideas for contributions to topics not listed above.


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