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Training and the Policy Entrepreneurship ‘Intention-Behavior Gap’ Amongst Public Workers

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Neomi Frisch Aviram
October 6, 2017

The goal of the proposed research is to answer the question: can policy entrepreneurship training affect the policy entrepreneurship intention-behavior gap amongst public workers? If so, how and why? Recently, the business administration literature has shown a growing interest in entrepreneurship education and its impact on minimizing the intention-behavior gap towards entrepreneurship. Intention-behavior gap is the correlation between intentions to perform a behavior and the actual behavior (Van Gelderen et al. 2015). This stream of research is based on two assumptions: first, an assumption that while many people have intentions to act as entrepreneurs only few will turn these intentions into actual behavior (the ‘intention-behavior gap’); and second, an assumption that entrepreneurs are not “born,” but can be trained to be successful entrepreneurs and the intention-behavior gap can be minimized (Dickson et al., 2008; Kuratko, 2005; Piperopoulos and Dimov, 2015). Yet, despite a growing interest in policy entrepreneurship in the public domain (Mintrom, 2000; Roberts and King, 1991; Zahariadis, 2007, 2014), this strand of literature has not yet dealt with researching policy entrepreneurship intentions and behaviors amongst “common” public workers, but rather focused on analyzing the rare phenomena of successful heroic policy entrepreneurs (Mintrom, 2000).

In this project, I offer to use multiple research methods consisting of quantitative and qualitative methods to advance the scholarly debate on policy entrepreneurship. I develop and test a model detailing how the policy entrepreneurship intention-behavior gap develops. According to the model, there is a gap between policy entrepreneurship intentions and policy entrepreneurship behavior amongst public workers, which entails that public workers hold intentions to affect policy that do not turn into action. I offer two moderators to explain this gap: coupling self-efficacy and perceived policy network characteristics. Then, I offer to conduct a first-of-its kind field experiment that measures the effect of policy entrepreneurship training on policy entrepreneurship intentions and behaviors.

Read the full article here.

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