This article draws on the policy transfer literature to examine a UK-based initiative to promote supplier diversity and provides insights into three areas neglected in current research, namely: the dynamics of non-governmental policy transfer; the factors that mediate policy transfer in different jurisdictions; and the integration of research and practice in small business related policy transfer. To this end, an innovative action research approach is deployed with the dual purpose of effecting practical change and advancing knowledge. This comprises two phases: first, a realist analysis of the US National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), an exemplar intermediary; and second, the implementation and concurrent realist evaluation of a supplier diversity initiative modelled on NMSDC, referred to as ‘Supplier Development East Midlands’ (SDEM). The findings provide lessons for academics and practitioners dealing with small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) policy transfer in general and supplier diversity intermediaries in particular.
Ram, M., Theodorakopoulos, N., & Worthington, I. (2007). Policy transfer in practice: implementing supplier diversity in the UK. Public Administration, 85(3), 779–803. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2007.00671.x