September 30, 2008
Taïeb Hafsi, holder of the Walter J. Somers Chair in International Strategic Management, has received the William E. Mosher and Frederick C. Mosher Award from the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) for his article entitled “The Changing Nature of Public Entrepreneurship,” published in the Public Administration Review, one of the leading journals in its field. The article, co-written with Professor Luc Bernier from the École nationale d’administration publique, is one of two that were recognized with this award by the ASPA at the Society’s 69th Annual Conference, held in Dallas in March.
The ASPA jury saluted the major contribution by professors Hafsi and Bernier to the field of public administration. The co-authors’ article was noteworthy for its original conceptual approach in analyzing one of the important managerial issues facing public-sector organizations worldwide.
In their article the authors propose a cyclical theory of public entrepreneurship. Their research shows that entrepreneurship is quite common in the public sector, and manifests itself in two main forms: (1) Individual entrepreneurs, who bring about major changes in the public sector. Typical examples are Richard Ruckelshaus, who founded the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, and Maurice Strong and Bill Hopper, behind the creation of Petro-Canada; (2) Systemic entrepreneurship, involving many players, which is generally oriented toward reinventing the way in which public-sector organizations function.
These two forms also reveal a cycle in the development of public entrepreneurship. Understanding this cycle makes it possible to suggest new management methods for the public sector. The research findings in the article suggest a public entrepreneurship contingency theory, which the authors plan to develop in a future article.
The 83 articles published in the Public Administration Review in 2007 were in the running for the William E. Mosher and Frederick C. Mosher Award. The jury examined all the articles by looking at the reports by reviewers when the articles were first considered for publication.
With 8,500 members from the public sector, academia and non-profit organizations, the ASPA is a leader in the field of public administration. Its mission is to advance the art, science, teaching, and practice of public and non-profit administration.