Strategic management

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT – it is widely recognized that a well-structured strategy (st.) accepted by → stakeholders can be a key instrument in achieving goals, in particular in complex socio-economic and political systems, for the development of which public administration is responsible. The most important differences between the application of st.m. in the public administration sector and in the private sector are: 1. the impact of political life on the implemented st. and the mechanism of its political evaluation; 2. a wide range of st. often covering not only a narrow segment of the market, but whole industries, regions, groups of citizens or states; 3. multiplicity of → stakeholders and their interests; 4. the non-financial nature of significant governmental st. objectives; 5. different measures of success of st. There are many tools of st.m., for example SWOT, SMART, PEST, PESTER, the balanced scorecard (BSC), MAPS, methods: business plan, strategic gap, benchmarking, socio-expert, logical matrix. In recent years, the method of a strategic scorecard in the public sector is most commonly used, because, among others, it is not limited to the financial dimension of organisation development. Irrespective of the assessment of efficacy, adequacy and effectiveness of individual methods, it should be pointed out that they usually include analyses of: environment, stakeholders, strengths and weaknesses (assets, deficits, gaps), chances (opportunities) and risks, development scenarios, consensus building around the diagnosis and objectives of the st., defining vision and mission, priorities – main goals within the priorities and specific objectives, projects implementing objectives and implementation action plans, methods of control of the implementation of the st. and its evaluation. St. may have an offensive character (using forces and opportunities), moderate (strengths and defence against threats), conservative-competitive (strengthening weaknesses by taking advantage of opportunities), or defensive character (struggle for survival of a weak individual). Another typology is the division of st. into: reactive, proactive, executive (against decisions of senior authorities), demanding, populist, marketing, based on public consensus and general interest. St. may also consist in choosing the so-called island of opportunity or niche. The key is to identify and use the public organisation’s own (local, endogenous) resources, such as social capital, infrastructure, natural environment, and space. St. should have an integrative character – by integrating development concepts, stakeholder values, diagnosis, st. executive plans, site plans, budget, authorities’ decisions, plans of executive units and projects. It is important to refer the st. to problems, use all possible means to achieve goals, take into account all stakeholders. In addition, it is important to indicate the choices in light of the consequences of actions, avoiding the early renunciation of many options, transparency and accountability, monitoring. An important element of a st. is its budget, i.e. the translation of long-term goals and actions into income and expenditure decisions of a public unit. It is the implementation of st. through the budgetary process. Among the instruments of st.m. one can find mainly financial instruments, operational programmes and projects. Research on public st.m. shows that the following are of key importance for the success of implemented st.: political leadership and effective managers of st.m., a limited number of well-chosen and socially accepted goals, cooperation of key stakeholders, synergy of actions on different objectives and its modification in the face of changing circumstances. The most important recommendations regarding the effective implementation of st. are: 1. specifying and transferring long-term identities, objectives and intentions; 2. matching the st. and the organisation’s culture and structure; 3. translating long-term intentions into clear objectives, parameters and st. 4. launching of the st. through projects; 4. monitoring and constant adjustment; 5. transferring projects to everyday operational activities. It is important for the effectiveness of the st. to measure its results. Measuring the results of development policy effects is an important instrument of this policy. The measures should be used in accordance with the SMART method, i.e. specific (S), measurable (M), acceptable (A), real (R) and having the time-related (T) deadline for implementation. One should strive to take into account many perspectives, and hence the perspectives of stakeholders, the budget, internal processes of the organisation and long-term development. In the case of the st. of a public unit, it is important to consider the interests of all public and non-public stakeholders. Indicators should be of an integrating nature, i.e. be related to the st. and its goals and be assigned to units responsible for achieving the result. They should measure few key areas and be clear and understandable to stakeholders. Moreover, the indicators should be standardized for the entire organisation and be balanced and adequate – by measuring various aspects of the activity and complementing each other, they should enable communicating the st. in the organisation and controlling the course of its implementation. [D. Długosz]

Literature: M. Barowicz, Karty dokonań. Systemy sterowania strategicznego [Scorecards. Strategic control systems], Kraków – Legionowo 2018 ■ P. Joyce, Strategic Management in the Public Sector, London – New York 2015 ■ R.P. Rumelt, Dobra strategia, zła strategia: czym się różnią i jakie to ma znaczenie [Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters], przekł. M. Kowalczyk, M. Piotrowska, Warszawa 2013.