The hidden price of free advice: negotiating the paradoxes of public sector business advising

Arshed, N., Knox, S., Chalmers, D. and Matthews, R. (2021) The hidden price of free advice: negotiating the paradoxes of public sector business advising. International Small Business Journal, 39(3), pp. 289-311. (doi: 10.1177/0266242620949989)

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Business advisors working in publicly funded enterprise agencies encounter a range of tensions as part of their everyday work. These tensions subtly shape how they provide advice and can lead to variability in how enterprise policy is delivered on the ground. We explore the competing demands facing advisors by inductively analysing advice-giving practices in public sector enterprise agencies. We find three overarching drivers of advisor role tension, including institutional demands, client demands and intrinsic demands; additionally, a further seven discrete work tactics advisors deploy to navigate these tensions are analysed. From our findings, we develop a theoretical model that advances a dynamic understanding of public sector business advice. We conclude by reflecting on the structural issues with public sector advising that might constrain the efficacy of advisors.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Business advisors, business support, micro-level, process, enterprise policy, implementation.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chalmers, Professor Dominic
Authors: Arshed, N., Knox, S., Chalmers, D., and Matthews, R.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:International Small Business Journal
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-2870
Published Online:29 August 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Small Business Journal 39(3): 289-311
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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