Strategic management and the performance of public organizations : Testing venerable ideas against recent theories

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-377
Journal / PublicationJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Miles and Snow, among others, argue that strategy content is an important influence on organizational performance. Their typology, applied recently to public organizations in the United Kingdom, divides strategic actors into four general types: prospectors, defenders, analyzers, and reactors. This article begins by integrating work on strategy content or strategic management into the O'Toole-Meier formal theory of public management. This study shows that strategy content is a subset of generally accepted management functions in public organizations. The article then proceeds to test the strategic management concepts in a large, multiyear sample of public organizations. The results show that strategy can be separated out from other elements of management for a distinguishable assessment of its impact on organizational performance. Unlike the predictions of Miles and Snow and the empirical findings of Boyne and Walker, however, we find that the defender strategy is the most effective for the primary mission of the organization and that the prospector and reactor strategies work best in regard to the goals of the more politically powerful elements of the organization's environment. © The Author 2006. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Inc. All rights reserved.

Citation Format(s)

Strategic management and the performance of public organizations: Testing venerable ideas against recent theories. / Meier, Kenneth J.; O'Toole Jr., Laurence J.; Boyne, George A. et al.
In: Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 17, No. 3, 07.2008, p. 357-377.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review