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Social enterprise, strategic networks and regional development.

Mawson, J. (2010) 'Social enterprise, strategic networks and regional development.', International journal of sociology and social policy., 30 (1/2). pp. 66-83.


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the way in which the UK Labour Government “framed” the policy and practice debate on social enterprise, the way in which “strategic” networks were (or were not) facilitated and the extent to which scale and geography shaped policy choices after 1997. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines three phases of development through a series of examples/case studies all of which are based in the West Midlands in the UK. The paper draws upon the author's practice and experience as both a practitioner and researcher during this period. Interviews with other key individuals are undertaken to inform the author's reflections and analysis. Findings – The paper suggests that there is a risk that experience, knowledge and understanding are at risk as there seems to be poorly developed processes and systems to “capture” informed understanding and that the importance of regional networks to promote practice and to protect innovation are often poorly developed and supported. Research limitations/implications – The paper is timely given the renewed focus by political parties in the UK on the role of the third sector in providing the “solution” for a number of public sector initiatives. Practical implications – The paper cuts across both the literature/debate on public policy as well as that on the role of networks and decision making within informal (as well as formal) organisations. Originality/value – The paper is timely and will add to an awareness of policy choices and the importance of sustaining a “memory” of past (and current) programmes.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Decision making, England, Enterprise zones, Government policy, Regional development, Social networks.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:08 Mar 2010 13:50
Last Modified:09 Mar 2010 12:03

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