Policy entrepreneurship: empirical inquiry into policy agents and institutional structures

Par Marianne Van Der Steen, John Groenewegen
English

Abstract

This paper contributes to the discussion to what extent government organizations facilitate or hinder policy-oriented innovations and policy entrepreneurship. More specifically, we try to understand both the characteristics of entrepreneurial policy makers -who are able to break with the organizational routines and initiate new policies- and explore under what conditions these policy makers can be effective in their learning behavior. For this purpose, we provide an in-depth empirical analysis of policy entrepreneurs at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs from 1990 until1997. Our conclusion is that two archetypes of policy learning occurred: ‘normal policy learning’ and ‘direct policy learning’, each associated with specific local institutional conditions and requiring specific attributes of the entrepreneurial policy makers.
JEL Codes: L32, L26

Keywords

  • policy entrepreneurship
  • science and technology policy
  • institutional change
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