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Strategy in the Public and Private Sectors: Similarities, Differences and Changes

Author

Listed:
  • John Alford

    () (The Australia and New Zealand School of Government PO Box 230 Carlton South VIC 3053, Australia)

  • Carsten Greve

    () (Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg DK-2000, Denmark)

Abstract

Strategic concepts and practices first evolved in the private sector, so they evoked much controversy when they migrated to the public sector from the late 1970s onwards. Partly this was about their (in)applicability to the distinctive features of government organizations, in particular their focus on public as well as private value, their situation in a political rather than a market environment, their almost exclusive capacity to use legal authority to achieve purposes, and the extent to which they often need to share power over personnel and resources with other public sector agencies. These and other factors complicated efforts to apply New Public Management and similar frameworks in strategy concepts in a governmental context. Partly also the traditional private-sector focus on single organizations did not resonate with the growth of network governance from the 1990s. The authors argue for an alternative model based primarily on the public value framework as a means of incorporating and going beyond traditional strategy thinking.

Suggested Citation

  • John Alford & Carsten Greve, 2017. "Strategy in the Public and Private Sectors: Similarities, Differences and Changes," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-17, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jadmsc:v:7:y:2017:i:4:p:35-:d:113266
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rhys Andrews & Malcolm J. Beynon & Elif Genc, 2017. "Strategy Implementation Style and Public Service Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Equity," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, February.
    2. Saint-Martin, Denis, 2004. "Building the New Managerialist State: Consultants and the Politics of Public Sector Reform in Comparative Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199269068.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan-Erik Johanson & Åge Johnsen & Elias Pekkola & Stephen Affleck Reid, 2019. "Strategic Management in Finnish and Norwegian Government Agencies," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-20, October.
    2. Michal Pohludka & Hana Stverkova & Beata Ślusarczyk, 2018. "Implementation and Unification of the ERP System in a Global Company as a Strategic Decision for Sustainable Entrepreneurship," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(8), pages 1-16, August.
    3. Rana, Tarek & Hoque, Zahirul, 2020. "Institutionalising multiple accountability logics in public services: Insights from Australia," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    strategy; public sector strategy; public value; authorizing environment; network governance; comparing public and private sectors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics
    • M0 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - General
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M15 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - IT Management
    • M16 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - International Business Administration
    • L - Industrial Organization

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