Time, Timing, Space and Place in Business Action
Chapter 5: On the Importance of Social Entrepreneuring to Local Government
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS The functions of the local government can be viewed differently (Herbert and Thomas, 1997, p. 123). Sharpe (1976) has identified the three major functions of local government as promoting liberty, participation and efficient service provision. Local governments provide liberty by countering a lack of local responsiveness usually associated with overcentralization. Participation in the local is also considered likely to be enhanced by some form of local elections. Finally, local governments are considered most likely to maximize the efficiency of service provision since they can assess local needs better by being close to the point of service delivery. There have been several stages in development of local governments because urban systems have looked differently over the years (Herbert and Thomas, 1997, pp. 77–9) ● ● The pre-industrial stage: an urban nucleus In the period prior to large-scale industrialization, most cities were small. They normally had populations of less than 50,000 and a rudimentary form of economic, social and political organization. Their transport technology was equally rudimentary. Because of the limitations of transport facilities, governmental influence in cities was restricted to provide urban services for a relatively localized population. Even if the city also provided commercial, religious, social or political functions for a wider hinterland, the frequency of visits by long-distance travellers and the associated functional interrelationships between the city and this hinterland was still low. The city tended to be a distinct urban nucleus loosely related to a wider rural area and to other cities. The industrial stage: urbanized...
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