UK experience suggests that entrepreneurship research has a long-term impact on policy making

A blog by ISBE Board member, Professor Steve Johnson, argues that entrepreneurship research has had a significant impact on UK policy over the past 30 years.

Studies of the policy impact of entrepreneurship research have largely concluded that research has little or no impact on policy in this field. However, such studies have typically not taken account of the complex, political and relational nature of the research-policy nexus. Applying concepts that are increasingly used in health, social and other policy domains, Steve’s paper in Evidence and Policy challenges conclusions based on linear conceptions of the impact process and argues that entrepreneurship research has greater potential to influence policy than is suggested by received wisdom.

The article is based on a paper that was presented to the ISBE conference in Cardiff in 2021, focusing on three selected issues that have been prominent in research and policy debates in the UK: (1) promotion of start-ups; (2) selectivity in business support; (3) spatial targeting of entrepreneurship policy.

The paper concludes by calling for improved understanding of the entrepreneurship research-policy nexus and for the development of ecosystems that enable stakeholders to address the creative tension between ‘rigour’ and ‘relevance’ in business and policy research.

Please click here for the full Blog.

Professor Steve Johnson, Sheffield Hallam University

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