Strategy in the Public Sector: Management in the Wilderness
The central question addressed in this paper is 'Why have organizational strategies emerged in the public sector?' Two broad answers are suggested. First, 'strategies' profile the organization through identifying aims, outputs and outcomes. Public services must, now, provide such transparency in order to secure on-going funding from government bodies. Once 'strategies' are being produced, they also offer an organizational vision that potential additional funding agencies can buy into (with both commitment and money). And public services are short of resources. Second, 'strategies' signal greater devolved responsibility in the public sector for both acquiring resources and achieving results. They enable the inclusion of managerial priorities and values in setting the direction of public services. And politicians desire more control over the professionals that dominate public services whilst, simultaneously, wanting to make them more responsible for outcomes. This article explores the growth of strategic planning in a particular area of the public sector - the national parks. Strategies as 'dormant documents' and strategies as 'funding pitches' are discussed. It is suggested that, in the public sector, strategies should be the object of strategy. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.
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Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
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