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Entrepreneurial Marketing in the Public Sector: The Lessons of Headteachers as Entrepreneurs

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Abstract:

This article argues that headteachers of primary schools have been at the forefront of the marketing/entrepreneurship interface since attempts to introduce competitive market forces into the maintained education system. It examines primary school headteachers' marketing strategies and compares them to those of owner managers of small firms. Case studies of ten schools illustrative of a variety of provision and market conditions provided the empirical data over a five year period. The headteachers shared many of the marketing problems of owner-managers of small firms. Headteachers found that the most effective marketing strategies consisted of: i) marketing to improve relationships with existing parents, staff and governors as an essential precursor to any external marketing effort; ii) parental involvement in the school which improved the likelihood of word of mouth recommendations; and iii) influencing such recommendations by marketing to improve parental and other involvement in the school. As word of mouth is also the most important source of new business for small firms, there are opportunities for lessons from the public to the private sector.

Keywords: ENTREPRENEURIAL MARKETING; ENTREPRENEURS; HEAD TEACHERS; MARKETING; PRIMARY SCHOOLS; PUBLIC; SECTOR MARKETING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1362/0267257022872488

Publication date: 2002-04-01

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