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What Drives Entrepreneurial Orientation in the Public Sector? Evidence from Germany's Federal Labor Agency

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abstract Along with the introduction of private sector management tools, public servants are
expected to act more entrepreneurially—as public managers. However, research lacks quantitative evidence on what drives entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in this context. Our article examines the antecedents of department-level EO in public sector organizations. By integrating different research streams into one study, we combine partly opposing discourses. This deductive study develops and empirically tests hypotheses on antecedents identified from private sector corporate entrepreneurship literature and from the current debate on new public management and public value management. It uses data from 250 middle managers of Germany’s Federal Labor Agency to do so. Contrary to expectations, the influence of management support, work discretion, and resources is only limited. Furthermore, a focus on key performance indicators and goal ambiguity does not seem to impede EO. Instead, a multitude of expectations, middle managers’ localism, and position tenure have the greatest impact on department-level EO. As a result, this study provides insights into the strong role of antecedents outside of administration. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for both theory and practice.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Entrepreneurial Orientation, Public Value, New Public Management
   
language Deutsch
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 10-2012
journal Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
publisher Oxford University Press (Oxford UK)
ISSN 1053-1858
ISSN (online) 1477-9803
DOI 10.1093/jopart/mus013
volume of journal 22
number of issue 4
page(s) 761-792
review double-blind review
   
citation Meynhardt, T., & Diefenbach, F. E. (2012). What Drives Entrepreneurial Orientation in the Public Sector? Evidence from Germany's Federal Labor Agency. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(4), 761-792, DOI:10.1093/jopart/mus013.