IMPLEMENTING BUSINESS POLICIES WITHIN THE AUSTRALIAN CONTEXT: THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS WITHIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
One strategy used by some Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) governments to stimulate national competitiveness is to encourage innovation via programmes aimed at assisting firms to collaborate. Economic Development Officers operate within a multi-government bureaucratic maze in order to implement these programmes. This paper examines what factors affect the way Economic Development Officers implement an array of government policies that foster collaboration amongst firms and the implications of those factors. The findings suggest that a number of factors compromise their ability to implement these policies effectively, especially since the implementation of New Public Management. In particular, the findings suggest that organisational bureaucratic communication processes moderate the way Economic Development Officers' perceive a chronic lack of resources and multi-stakeholder accountability. The findings reiterate the importance of ensuring that there is synergy between business policy goals and resourcing and accountability mechanisms for those expected to implement the programmes intended to foster collaboration amongst firms.
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