The ineffectiveness of entrepreneurship policy: is policy formulation to blame?

Norin Arshed, Sara Carter, Colin Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)
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Entrepreneurship policy has been criticised for its lack of effectiveness. Some scholars, such as Scott Shane in this journal, have argued that it is ‘bad’ public policy. But this simply begs the question why the legislative process should generate bad policy? To answer this question this study examines the UK’s enterprise policy process in the 2009–2010 period. It suggests that a key factor for the ineffectiveness of policy is how it is formulated. This stage in the policy process is seldom visible to those outside of government departments and has been largely ignored by prior research. The application of institutional theory provides a detailed theoretical understanding of the actors and the process by which enterprise policy is formulated. We find that by opening up the ‘black box’ of enterprise policy formulation, the process is dominated by powerful actors who govern the process with their interests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-659
Number of pages21
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number3
Early online date26 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • enterprise policy
  • institutional theory
  • institutional entrepreneurship

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