Strategy, structure and process in the public sector : A test of the miles and snow model

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)732-749
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


We present a comprehensive empirical application of the Miles and Snow (1978) model of organizational strategy, structure and process to the public sector. We refine the model by distinguishing between strategy formulation and implementation, and applying it to 90 public service organizations. Although the empirical evidence shows that organizational strategies fit the Miles and Snow categories of prospector, defender and reactor, the relationship between these strategies and organizational structures (for example, centralization) and processes (for example, planning) is less consistent with their model. Conclusions are drawn for public management theory and practice. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.