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Exploring the disconnect in policy implementation : a case of enterprise policy in England

Arshed, Norin and Mason, Colin and Carter, Sara (2016) Exploring the disconnect in policy implementation : a case of enterprise policy in England. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34 (8). pp. 1582-1611. ISSN 1472-3425

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Previous studies have acknowledged the ineffectiveness of enterprise policy. However, the reasons for its ineffectiveness remain a matter for debate. This study examines the extent to which the ineffectiveness of enterprise policy can be attributed to the way it has been implemented. Interviews with central government policy-makers, Regional Development Agency staff and business development managers in local enterprise agencies during the Labour administration (2007-2010) revealed that the implementation process of enterprise policy initiatives is complex and confusing, with fragmented relationships between the actors involved. The abundance of enterprise policy initiatives being delivered at the time, the absence of clearly defined objectives, the limited emphasis on the delivery of business support and the lack of measurement and evaluation combined to create an unnecessarily complicated process of enterprise policy implementation which, in turn, reduced its effectiveness.