Contextualising public entrepreneurship in Greek local government austerity

Eleni Melissanidou, Lorraine Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Public entrepreneurs are an under-researched group in local government. The purpose of this paper is to explore the contextual complexities of public entrepreneurs who pursue more creative ways of “doing more with less” to cope with dynamic financial and societal anxieties of Greek local government fiscal austerity policy reforms. Precisely, this study aims to the understanding of how specific contextual influences impact, first, on the nature of public entrepreneurship and, second, on manifested outcomes. A systematic approach marks the authors attempt to assess the broader impact pointing out the implications for research, policy and practice. Design/methodology/approach: A case study of Greek local government draws on 26 in-depth semi-structured interviews with public entrepreneurs across top, middle and front-line levels of management, field notes, documentary and archival evidence. Findings: The findings demonstrate unique Greek contextual complexities such as contradictory tensions between triggered decentralisation of control and responsibilities of the local government and attempts of external reinvention rather than internal renewal. These complexities influence public entrepreneurs’ systemic entrepreneurship behaviours in Greek local government since the implementation of fiscal austerity policy reforms in 2010. Their representation is manifest in policy, administrative and technological outcomes with public value consequences. Originality/value: This research contributes to a deeper understanding of public entrepreneurship in context. Greek local government public entrepreneurs bring original insights on the contextual influences of their systemic enactment and manifested outcomes, with implications for research, policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1563-1579
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
Issue number7
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019


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