Friday, October 28, 2005

PhD stuff #2: The values of ED organisation staff

Other snippets from me Ph.D...

An important and interesting theme to come out of the interviews were the culture and values relating to an agency’s economic development approach.
Values associated with positive outcomes...

There appeared to be a sound basis for dividing the ‘philosophy’ of the agency interviewees along either ‘product driven’ or ‘market driven’ lines. A ‘product driven’ approach is characterised by a concentration on the tools, programmes or projects that an agency delivers. The focus is on economic development activity through what the agency provides operationally. Practitioners in this situation often concentrate on ‘doing things right’ without questioning or attempting to analyse the rationale behind them. A ‘market- led’ approach takes its starting point as an analysis and understanding of what is relevant and feasible in the market-place, or socio-economic environment that the agency is in. Its focus is upon ‘doing the right things’.

There were numerous values given positive and negative associations in interviews with EA staff:

Values associated with positive outcomes
“no blame culture”
“add value”

Values associated with negative outcomes“insularity”
“blame culture”
“little empires”

“There’s too many wafflers and dreamers in economic development.”
(Manager, Business Link B, London)

“I think that people can strive a little bit too much and waste time in looking for the holy grail of economic development.”
(Executive Director, LEC D, Scotland)


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