Government acts as entrepreneur when its involvement in market activities is both innovative and characterized by entrepreneurial risk. Thinking of government as entrepreneur is a unique lens through which the authors of this book examine a specific subset of U.S. government policy actions. As such, their viewpoint underscores the purposeful intent of government, its ability to act in new and innovative ways, and its willingness to undertake policy actions that have uncertain outcomes.
Viewing particular policy actions through an entrepreneurial lens
is useful in two broad dimensions. First, it underscores the
forward looking nature of policy makers as well as the need to
evaluate the social outputs and outcomes of their behavior in terms
of broad spillover impacts. Second, government acting as
entrepreneur parallels in concept similar activities that occur in
the private sector.
Government as Entrepreneur is the first broad effort to
emphasize the entrepreneurial aspects of governments. It is also
the first systematic treatment of U.S. innovation policies to
promote the formation of strategic research partnerships. It will
foster a new perspective on the role of government and how
incentives for government to act entrepreneurially might be
institutionalized; it will serve as a vehicle for policy makers and
scholars to think about the entrepreneurial actors in an economy,
in a new way.