Strategy content and organizational performance : An empirical analysis

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


This study presents the first empirical test of the proposition that strategy content is a key determinant of organizational performance in the public sector. Strategy content comprises two dimensions: strategic stance (the extent to which an organization is a prospector, defender, or reactor) and strategic actions (the relative emphasis on changes in markets, services, revenues, external relationships, and internal characteristics). Data were drawn from a multiple-informant survey of 119 English local authorities. Measures of strategy content are included in a multivariate model of interauthority variations in performance. The statistical results show that strategy content matters. Organizational performance is positively associated with a prospector stance and negatively with a reactor stance. Furthermore, local authorities that seek new markets for their services are more likely to perform well. These results suggest that measures of strategy content must be included in valid theoretical and empirical models of organizational performance in the public sector.