Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Successfully Executing Ambitious Strategies in Government: An Empirical Analysis

Contents:

Author Info

  • Kelman, Steven J.
  • Myers, Jeff
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    How are senior government executives who attempt to execute an ambitious vision requiring significant strategic change in their organizations able to succeed? How do they go about formulating a strategy in the first place? What managerial and leadership techniques do they use to execute their strategy? In this paper, these questions are examined by comparing (so as to avoid the pitfalls of “best practices†research) management and leadership behaviors of a group of agency leaders from the Clinton and Bush administrations identified by independent experts as having been successful at executing an ambitious strategy with a control group consisting of those the experts identified as having tried but failed at significant strategic change, along with counterparts to the successes, who had the same position as they in a different administration. We find a number of differentiators (such as using strategic planning, monitoring performance metrics, reorganizing, and having a smaller number of goals), while other techniques either were not commonly used or failed to differentiate (such as establishing accountability systems or appeals to public service motivation). We find that agencies that the successes led had significantly lower percentages of political appointees than the average agency in the government. One important finding is that failures seem to have used techniques recommended specifically for managing transformation or change as frequently as successes did, so use of such techniques does not differentiate successes from failures. However, failures (and counterparts) used techniques associated with improving general organizational performance less than successes.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4481609/Kelman_SuccessfullyExecuting.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4481609.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4481609

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
    Fax: 617-496-2554
    Web page: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Iain McLean & Dirk Haubrich & Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2007. "The Perils and Pitfalls of Performance Measurement: The CPA Regime for Local Authorities in England," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 111-118, April.
    2. Kelman, Steven & Friedman, John N., 2007. "Performance Improvement and Performance Dysfunction: An Empirical Examination of Impacts of the Emergency Room Wait-Time Target in the English National Health Service," Working Paper Series rwp07-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Steven N. Kaplan & Bernadette Minton, 2006. "How has CEO Turnover Changed? Increasingly Performance Sensitive Boards and Increasingly Uneasy CEOs," NBER Working Papers 12465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Iain McLean & Dirk Haubrich & Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2007. "The Perils and Pitfalls of Performance Measurement: The CPA Regime for Local Authorities in England," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 27(2), pages 111-118, 04.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4481609. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Steinberg).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.