Strategic Management Strategic Management Research in the Public Sector


StrategicManagement: Strategic Management Research in the Public Sector

Strategic Management: Strategic Management Research in the PublicSector

Althoughthere is a considerable amount of literature on the strategicplanning and management within the public sector, little effort hasbeen synthesized regarding the extent to which these tools areapplied in the government, how these tools are implemented, andgenerated results. In this article, the problem is based on thestrategic planning and management within the public sector. Theauthors did this to understand everything about strategic planningand management learned and the existing gaps in the public sector.

The authors studied over 34 research articles within the area ofstrategic management to identify substantial empirical testing as aresult of impacts. These impacts are from institutional andenvironmental organizational determinants on strategical management.However, efforts to assess connections between organizationaloutcomes or performance improvements and strategic planning processesare sparse, and, therefore, is an issue. In this critical area,comparative case studies and large-N quantitative analyzes could helpimprove the wide knowledge base.

For over two decades now, practitioners and scholars have since beeninterested in strategic management and management within the publicsector (Poister et al., 2010). The article is fairly divided basedthe terms of specific research questions based on the problemshighlighted, considering research study has been conducted on thetopic. Also, there is little effort to an extent to which all publicorganizations engages explicitly in efforts of strategic managementand planning, how processes are conducted, and results from suchefforts (Poister et al., 2010). Given that the article focus on thefindings applied in the public sector, the problem discussed in thearticle is that differences arise from the public sector regardingfunding environments, governance frameworks, and resourcedependencies.


Public managers understand that a shared sense of strategy is ofimportance since it essentially positions an organization to faceuncertainty and a complex future. The effectiveness of publicmanagers involves the use of strategy to focus their effort andattention on priorities, offer consistency framework to guidingdecisions, and provide the organization with a renewed sense ofpurpose (Prowle, 2000). Strategic planning is more of formulatingstrategy, which according to Moore (1995), is a disciplined effort tomake important decisions that shape what an organization currentlyis, what it does, and reasons for it.

It is an approachthat addresses the most important issues facing organizations in anattempt to create the best &quotfit&quot within the environment andguarantee the organization`s effectiveness and long-term vitality(Sadler, 2003). Strategic management is regarded a broader managementprocess in an organization in a manner that is strategic on acontinual basis. Planning is a principal element in a strategicmanagement setting. Therefore, overall strategic management is meantto enhance &quotthe overall set of managerial decision-making andactions that dictates the long-term organizational performance.&quot

The theoreticalframework is influenced by the determinants. Strategy in the businesssector, for instance, is viewed to be largely driven by theorganization`s comparative forces (Jeffs, 2008). The same happens inthe public sector, whereby an agency`s approach towards strategicplanning is ultimately influenced by the environmental operations.Also, the institutional context that is operational with the publicagency, specifically work within a governmental and intergovernmentalsystem that plays a part in its approach. For example, some of theagencies are likely to engage in the strategic planning since it isrequired by the central executive mandate and legislation. Someagencies, however, may have little discretion space and are likely tooperate under constraints, which are important and could limit theirmanagement.


The source of mydata is from the article in &quotThe American Review of PublicAdministration&quot Journal. The article reviewed the existingresearch data on public sector strategic management while focusing onthe causal connections between the strategic management modelcomponents has highlighted in the introduction. Articles wereidentified based on the relationship between strategic managementcomponents and environment factors of content, plan formulation, andimplementation.

The first study was based on the strategic planning in governmentalagencies. It was found out that all external agencies had importantimpacts on the organization`s decision. Also, it was realized thatthese agencies were likely to take part in strategic planning, moreso when all neighboring agencies also did it when they were closelyaligned with the private sector institutions.

Sadler (2003) studied institutional influences based on strategicmanagement and planning by surveying the state agency leaders andtheir experiences. Over 88% of the respondents confirmed that theirpublic sector agency had not triggered strategic planning because ofthe formal mandate. Some organizational factors affected theformulation, implementation, and strategic plans content within theorganization under study.

Sadler (2003) observed that organizational factors were moreimportant to strategic planning that the political ones. The problemswere identified to generate likely managerial, strategic managerialissues because of employee participation. The problems identifiedwere a lack of support from the management while the employees alsolacked incentives for their utmost cooperation and implementation ofa comprehensive planning system.

Resultsand Findings

It was normal forthe article to focus on a case study of public sector organizationsdeemed to be successful. It was realized that there was no sense ofempirical examination of the overall outcomes however, more holisticdiscussion based on the benefits acquired from strategic managementprocess (Poister et al., 2010). The quantitative studies differed inthe treatment of what was involved to be an outcome of perceptionsand strategic management. The outcome also comprised of employeesatisfaction, effective performance appraisals, customersatisfaction, and employee outcomes in public sector organizations.As noted, particular research studies focused more on the analysis ofstrategic planning prevalence, management initiatives, and specificattention given to governmental organizations.

The findings fromtwo other studies focused on outputs resulting into outcomes from thecentral position. For example, Poister et al. (2010) noted that inthe survey of strategic management in the public sector, sixpotential kinds of benefits were sought through a strategic planningprocess. Five of these – decision making and assistance policy,clarification of agency, internal management improvements, client andexternal relations, and reorganization agency – all correspond tothe enhancement of strategic management framework. The sixthinvolved, which is the service delivery improvement, involvesperformance improvements. Also, the study on public sectororganizations showed more descriptive and evaluative link withparticular outcomes and other aspects of strategic management. Jeffs(2008) noted that careful consideration in such a situationestablished a range of potential outcomes from instructive outputs.

The outcome of thestudy showed strategic management in public sector governmentassessed feasibility accompanied with proposed strategies towardsdeveloping a plan to implement strategic initiatives. They werepositively associated with the sector`s strategic planning. Theplanning included shareholders associating the management withgreater beneficial impact. Sadler (2003) considered the relationshipthe public sector`s strategic plan perceptions and formulation of itsperformances.

Using survey data from Poister`s et al. (2010) strategic plan, thefindings included both internal and external analyzes with anaccompanied action plan. Of interest is that the number of targetswas negatively related to the perceptions of the overall performancein the agency. The performance was both associated positively withthe perceived impact of the organization`s strategic planning. Also,Baker (2007) considered close relationship between organizationalperformance perceptions and strategic plan formulation. The findingsshowed that strategic plans became akin with several otherdimensions, which includes both internal and external analysis.

Another of the public sector organizations, following a comprehensivestudy, showed that strategic management plans considered a series ofperformance linkages. It was found out that the whole of the processof comprehensiveness based on the coverage of environmental issueswere strongly associated with improved managerial control overcommunications and budgeting. The findings from the article showedpopulated data set from the agencies that were engaged affirmativelywith explored impact over the entire strategic planning ofwork-related outcomes.


Based on thestrategic management, public sector organizations should usestrategic planning as a way to effectively strengthen organizationalperformance over the capacity showed by the organizations` ability totie performance and budgeting to goals and objectives. The publicsector organizations should also strategize over extensive monitoringtowards generating the strategic capacity to allow initiatives tocatalyze strong changes with large-scale bureaucracies. Strategicmanagement will be able to appear through effectively ensuring chosenleaders are mandated with the incentives for employee participation.

Since research onthe management and planning is viewed to be prescriptive in nature,performances, and best practices should implicitly recommend foranalysis and implementation tools be given a strategic plan to createa contingent over some factors that include the use of a quantitativemodel. Also, all linkages should be made to create a conceptualframework for implementation of each outcome, either directly orindirectly. All the public sector strategic plans should also belinked to benchmarks through creating a continuum of strategic plans.

and Conclusion

The purpose of thepaper is a review and synthesis of strategic management of publicsector organizations. On strategic planning, public organizationsappeared to be more interested in the linkages between strategicplanning determinants and processes associated with collectivemanagement. Substantial empirical research tests over environmentalimpacts were studied towards finding out institutional and strategicmanagement based on organizational factors.

My view on thearticle revolves around all the research based on strategicmanagement analysis, which also focuses more on the content tooperationalize a focused orientation toward public sector`s need toendure forces related to the environment it operates in. Also, thearticle placed more emphasis on strategic planning with littleprospector strategy. Strategic planning ensured the article becamemore contingent with the public sector`s ability to succeed in itsmanagement performances.


Baker, D. (2007). Strategic change management in public sectororganisations. Oxford: Chandos.

Jeffs, C. (2008). Strategic management. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic managementin government. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Poister, T., Pitts, D., &amp Hamilton, E. L. (2010). StrategicManagement Research in the Public Sector: A Review, Synthesis, andFuture Directions. American Review of Public Administration, 40,5, 522-545. Retrieved from

Prowle, M. (2000). The changing public sector: A practicalmanagement guide. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Gower.

Sadler, P. (2003). Strategic management. Sterling, VA: KoganPage.