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Summary of Findings from a Case Study of Policy Entrepreneurship in Higher Education: A Descriptive Portrait

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Date Issued:
2015
Summary:
The call for higher education reform in the U.S. intensifies as the gap between the haves and have-nots widens. Policy actors from across the political spectrum advocate for various policy solutions creating a policy environment that is complex and often contentious. In such environments, policy entrepreneurs— those individuals who advocate for policy innovation from within and without government—try to break through the barriers of incremental politics to create reform. As important as this role is in structuring higher education policy, it has not yet been explored. This study fills a gap in the extant literature by cataloging the traits, values, motivation, skills, and strategies that enable higher education policy entrepreneurs at state and national levels to accomplish sustainable and innovative higher education reform. This study employed a descriptive, revelatory, singlecase study research design interpreted from the postpositivist paradigm. Data drawn from interviews with 23 policy entrepreneurs from across the U.S. were triangulated with document reviews and a multi-level coding strategy. Data were then juxtaposed against nine propositions extracted from the extant literature to derive the findings. Policy entrepreneurs in this study are creative political leaders with a passion for improving educational opportunity. They are pragmatic, resourceful, perseverant, strategic, and influential actors who don’t work in isolation; rather, they are network dependent and value collaboration, compromise, and listening. They reach across the aisle, work hard to build credibility and trust, recognize windows of opportunity, create opportunities to advocate for policy innovation, take calculated risks, and make sacrifices for their cause.
Title: Summary of Findings from a Case Study of Policy Entrepreneurship in Higher Education: A Descriptive Portrait.
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Name(s): Felsher, Rivka A.
Graduate College
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Poster
Date Created: 2015
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 1 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The call for higher education reform in the U.S. intensifies as the gap between the haves and have-nots widens. Policy actors from across the political spectrum advocate for various policy solutions creating a policy environment that is complex and often contentious. In such environments, policy entrepreneurs— those individuals who advocate for policy innovation from within and without government—try to break through the barriers of incremental politics to create reform. As important as this role is in structuring higher education policy, it has not yet been explored. This study fills a gap in the extant literature by cataloging the traits, values, motivation, skills, and strategies that enable higher education policy entrepreneurs at state and national levels to accomplish sustainable and innovative higher education reform. This study employed a descriptive, revelatory, singlecase study research design interpreted from the postpositivist paradigm. Data drawn from interviews with 23 policy entrepreneurs from across the U.S. were triangulated with document reviews and a multi-level coding strategy. Data were then juxtaposed against nine propositions extracted from the extant literature to derive the findings. Policy entrepreneurs in this study are creative political leaders with a passion for improving educational opportunity. They are pragmatic, resourceful, perseverant, strategic, and influential actors who don’t work in isolation; rather, they are network dependent and value collaboration, compromise, and listening. They reach across the aisle, work hard to build credibility and trust, recognize windows of opportunity, create opportunities to advocate for policy innovation, take calculated risks, and make sacrifices for their cause.
Identifier: FA00005877 (IID)
Collection: FAU Student Research Digital Collection
Note(s): The Sixth Annual Graduate Research Day was organized by Florida Atlantic University’s Graduate Student Association. Graduate students from FAU Colleges present abstracts of original research and posters in a competition for monetary prizes, awards, and recognition.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005877
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.