Strategic planning in public organizations : reviewing 35 years of research

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationInternational Public Management Journal
Online published16 Nov 2023
Publication statusOnline published - 16 Nov 2023


Strategic planning’s popularity in public organizations cannot be denied, with legislative initiatives even making it mandatory for certain public organizations. Due to strategic planning’s continued popularity in practice, recent years have seen a surge in research on the topic. A synthesis of said research is necessary to identify empirical, conceptual, theoretical, and methodological challenges that remain to be tackled. Drawing from a systematic review of 75 studies through a Strategy-as-Practice lens, this paper contributes to public management theory, research, and practice in three significant ways. First, it provides a structured synthesis and integration of a growing and disparate body of literature, offering a roadmap for future research on strategic planning in public organizations. Second, it proposes a middle-range theoretical framework that captures the complex and dynamic nature of strategic planning in public organizations, providing insight into how strategic planning is conducted and why it may or may not work in certain contexts. Finally, it offers practical relevance for public managers and other public professionals by providing an overview of the various strategic planning choices available and how to optimize them according to their unique contexts and desired outcomes. © 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.