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Managing Strategically in The Public services - Essay Example

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Managing Strategically in The Public services

This research will begin with the statement that the traditional model of administration was criticized earlier for its inward focus and short-term perspective. Both of these shortcomings have altered with the advent of public management, and the public sector now shows more concern with longer-term strategy than ever before. The strategic perspective considers the organization in its external environment; it aims to specify clear goals and objectives; it attempts to move away from routine management tasks to consider, in a systematic way, longer-term considerations of the very future of the organization. The strategy addresses ‘a crucial concern; positioning the organization to face an increasingly uncertain future. The traditional model missed out on the longer-term perspective and, by being preoccupied with process, often forgot there was a larger purpose, an overall goal, for any public organization. Using strategic concepts in the public sector is one way to address these shortcomings. Applications of strategy in the private sector are obvious enough, with considerable advantages resulting from looking a the long term and the external environment, rather than always considering more immediate internal problems. Normal management processes may be adequate for ordinary operations but it is also necessary, from time to time too, reassess the fundamental reason why the organizations exist, what it is trying to do and where it is going....
Strategic planning in the public sector is a phenomenon of gthe early 1980s, significantly later than its development in the private sector. Strategic management was also adopted but again followed the private sector with a gap of some years (Hughes 136)

However strategic planning and strategic management are private sector concepts and it cannot be taken for granted that the ideas will work in the public sector. There are more problems and constraints compared to the private sector . Nutt and Backoff argue that strategic managers in the public sector 'should be wary of using private sector approaches that assume clear goals, profit or economic purposes, unlimited authority to act, secret development, limited responsibility for actions, and oversight through market mechanisms that signal financial results' and in public organisations 'many of these assumptions are not valid' in Hughes p136

Bozeman and Straussman argue that there are three major features of a strategic approach: defining goals and objectives, developingan action plan that meditates between the organisatin and the environment and designing effective methods of implementation'. (1990 in Hughes 137)

The Bryson model (1988) is a strategic planning model derived from the private sector, but with some variations to allow for the public sector context:
initiating and agreeing on a strategic planning process
identifying organisations mandates
clarifying organisation mission and values
assessing the external environment (opportunities and threats)
Assessing the internal environment (strengths and weaknesses)
Identifying the strategic issues facing an organisation
Formulating strategies to manage the issues; and
Establishing an effective organisation visionf or the future

In Hughes 138

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The discussion seeks to answer the question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying the tools and concepts of strategic management to organizations in the public sector? The researcher also aims to analyze Local Governance: modernization and management.

Author : dlangosh
Managing Strategically in The Public services essay example
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