Carl J. Bellone
California State University, Hayward
A philosophical position and a managerial style that stresses innovation, the search for new opportunities, calculated risk taking, an emphasis on results and performance (such as outcome measurement, revenue generation, and profit making), rewards for merit, managerial autonomy, competitive market forces, and a future orientation. It is often contrasted with bureaucratic public administration, which is characterized by stability, standard operating procedures, monopolies, close limitations on authority, lack of measurable outputs, and a short-term orientation.
French economist J. B. Say (1767-1832) is credited with coining the term "entrepreneur" in about 1800 to refer to industrialists who shifted resources from areas of low yield to areas of higher yield. Early uses of entrepreneurial management referred to the expeditions of French military leaders and French businessmen who undertook major public works. The economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) described businessmen who took calculated risks with capital, increased profits and productivity, and opened new markets as entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship has been most associated with start-up ventures, innovation, risk taking, and profit making in the private sector. Although some of the elements of public entrepreneurship—such as municipal airports run as revenue-generating public enterprises—have been around for many years, it was not until the 1980s that a few public administrators began to refer to themselves as public entrepreneurs. The most notable of them, Ted Gaebler, former city manager of Visalia, California,