Policy entrepreneurship in UK central government: The behavioural insights team and the use of randomized controlled trials

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42 Citations (Scopus)


What factors explain the success of the UK Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team? To answer this question, this article applies insights from organizational theory, particularly accounts of change agents. Change agents are able—with senior sponsorship—to foster innovation by determination and skill: they win allies and circumvent more traditional bureaucratic procedures. Although Behavioural Insights Team is a change agent—maybe even a skunkworks unit—not all the facilitating factors identified in the literature apply in this central government context. Key factors are its willingness to work in a non-hierarchical way, skills at forming alliances, and the ability to form good relationships with expert audiences. It has been able to promote a more entrepreneurial approach to government by using randomized controlled trials as a robust method of policy evaluation.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
Early online date1 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014

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