Entrepreneurship in Public Management: The Case of Sri Lanka Administrative Service

Lalitha Fernando


The role of entrepreneurship in public management remains in debate. Despite the debatable arguments to regarding public entrepreneurship, this paper argues that the concept still has validity of utilizing as a tool for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public service. By using Hunter’s reputational snowballing technique to identify public entrepreneurs among Sri Lanka’s administrative service, this study presents the preliminary findings based on a recent empirical study and examines their administrative and decision-making roles towards desired changes in the public service in Sri Lanka. During the period of October 2002 and March 2003, the study gathered the data through in-depth interviews of 25 officers in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. The results of the study indicate that public managers’ motivation to achieve and their leadership skills, goal clarity, managerial autonomy, performance-based reward system, citizen participation and public support represent major factors contributing to public entrepreneurship in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. This study also finds that there are entrepreneurs in the Sri Lanka public service. Also the paper argues that there are opportunities and potential in the service to work as entrepreneurs who are innovative, proactive and willing to take some risks beyond their work responsibilities. Further, the author argues that there are significant benefits when the entrepreneurship is applied to public management. Therefore the necessary reforms are needed to sustain such initiatives of public entrepreneurs towards more effectiveness and efficiency of public service.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22140/cpar.v3i3/4.65


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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University.