Entrepreneurship and Public Administration – a new research project

‘Entrepreneurship as a strategy to improve the talent in Public Administration’ is a research project carried out by the Autonomous University of Barcelona in collaboration with the University of Leeds which started in December 2016. Dr Carla Quesada-Pallares, Dr Nick Williams and Raminta Beraite are currently involved in the project.

It primarily focuses on the issues observed in the Public Administration (PA) sector caused by the economic crisis (such as precarious employment, lack of recruitment processes, and reduction of resources for lifelong learning) and offers entrepreneurship as a strategy to improve hidden talent of PA employees. Research implies that in order to improve current situation, entrepreneurial values and risk-controlled attitudes towards innovation have to be fostered in such workplaces.

Hence, the key aim of this research is to study entrepreneurship as a strategy to develop the talent of the PA employees, describe and analyse resources used to foster entrepreneurship in such workplaces, and deepen the characteristics of these employees currently considered entrepreneurial.

To study that, both qualitative and quantitative methods were used by interviewing and surveying employees in the PA sector both in Catalonia (Spain) and Yorkshire (UK) regions. Findings so far show that the Catalan Public Administration has a personalist point of view about entrepreneurship; it is understood that the entrepreneurial phenomenon depends on personal characteristics and attitudes rather than the influence of organisation structures. In this regard, the entrepreneurial innovations are seen as isolated small group activities considering that one of the most notorious barriers is the previous transferred culture from the 80’s state structures.

As a next stage in this project, a Sandpit event will be held in Barcelona on 13 July 2017. It will gather various academics, experts of the field, and others who took part in the project and have an interest in innovatively exploring this area further. The key aim is to take the findings from the previous stages forward and to develop resources and strategies that could be applied by the participants in their workplaces to discover and nurture the hidden talent of PA employees.

Further information about the event will become available soon.