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TEACHING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSPECTIVE IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR - COLLABORATION EXPERIENCES WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

J. Padfield

Purdue University (UNITED STATES)
Over the past several years, some government agencies in the United States have been working to adopt a more "business like" (i.e. private sector) approach to managing their operations. This effort frequently translates to trying to produce more results with fewer resources. One factor that has hindered the effort to make government agencies operate more like the private sector is the hierarchal culture / environment where employees have essentially been taught to follow orders rather than to challenge the status quo.

This paper focuses on the collaboration between a University and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to deliver hands-on training to front line INDOT employees to help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset for approaching their daily work. The training was delivered onsite at multiple INDOT facilities across Indiana and involved a diverse group of employees in charge of various INDOT functions such as road repair, snow removal, sign maintenance, and bridge repair.

The training consisted of a blend of classroom work and on-the-job project work to immediately apply the concepts discussed in the classroom. The first two projects from this collaboration have produced over $2,400,000 in savings for INDOT by changing their work process to more efficiently use their road equipment. Several additional projects are currently in process.