Strategic Management Thinking and Practice in the Public Sector: A Strategic Planning for All Seasons?

Forthcoming in Financial Accountability and Management

44 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014

See all articles by Åge Johnsen

Åge Johnsen

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Date Written: December 8, 2014

Abstract

This paper explores how strategic management thinking manifests itself in strategic management practice in the public sector. Mintzberg’s framework of 10 strategic management schools of thought is chosen for mapping strategic management thinking. The paper analyses a convenience sample of 35 strategic management processes, observation of an agency’s strategy reformulation process and interviews of managers in the public sector in Norway for informing the discussion. Strategic planning is heavily criticized in some of the business strategy literature. The analysis indicates that strategic management in the public sector extensively uses strategic planning, bundled with certain other schools of thought, despite tendencies to downplay formal, mechanistic planning in contemporary strategic management theory.

Keywords: Central government, local government, public management, schools of thought, strategy theory

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Johnsen, Åge, Strategic Management Thinking and Practice in the Public Sector: A Strategic Planning for All Seasons? (December 8, 2014). Forthcoming in Financial Accountability and Management, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535493

Åge Johnsen (Contact Author)

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 4 St Olavs plass
Oslo, NO-0130
Norway

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