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The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management

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Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


A Teaching Topic in Strategy and Implementation

The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management

This topic explores the specific meaning and role of strategy in public management. Strategy brings coherence and focus to one's actions, taking into account the predicted response of others. Strategic actions include: setting and articulating goals and missions; aligning strategy with mission; leading organizational change; and structuring networks and partnerships (Harvard MLD-110A).

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will be familiar with the major concepts associated with strategic management, and will understand the importance of strategic thinking to effective performance in senior public service positions.

Core Concepts Associated With This Topic: Internal Consistency; Horizontal Policy Consistency; Incrementalism in Policy Reform; Plans; Policy Consistency; Strategic Governance; Incremental Costs (in public management)

Recommended Reading

Carleton PADM 5116F Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance

Considine, M. (2005). "Making Public Policy: Institutions, Actors, Strategies." Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Harvard MLD-110A Strategic Management for Public Purposes

Mark Moore, "Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in the Public Sector," Harvard University Press, 1997, pp. 57-76

Michael Porter, "What is Strategy?"

Robert Kaplan and David Norton, "Integrating Strategy Planning and Operational Execution"

Henry Mintzberg, "The Strategy Concept 1: Five Ps for Strategy, California Management Review," Fall 1987, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p. 11-24

Donald F. Kettl, "The Global Revolution in Public Management: Driving Themes, Missing Links," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 446-462, 1997

Herman B. Leonard, "A Short Note on Public Sector Strategy-Building" (November 2002)

American PUAD 612 Public Administration in the Policy Process

Syllabus Section: Business Approaches to Public Administration: Objective setting, strategic planning, logic models, and performance measurement

Peter F. Drucker, “Managing the Public Service Institution,” The Public Interest 33 (Fall 1973) 43-60; also in Richard J. Stillman, Public Administration: Concepts and Cases, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980), 256-264.

Harry Hatry, Performance Management (2006), 3-8.

“Introduction to Logic Models,” from W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Logic Model Development Guide, 2004, 1-13.

Beryl A. Radin, Challenging the Performance Movement (2006), 13-20, 115-16, 234-47.

Rutgers 26:834:522 Public Organizations

Hal G. Rainey. Understanding and Managing Public Organizations. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 4th edition. Chapter 7: Strategy and decision making.

Sample Assessment Questions:

      1.)  Why is it necessary for senior public servants to think strategically? What are some possible advantages to a strategic approach to public sector management?

      2.)  What are some specific actions that can be identified as components of a strategic approach to public sector management?

      3.)  What are organizational goals? What is an organizational mission?

      4.)  Provide one example of an area of public sector management within which structuring networks and partnerships with entities outside of government is essential for a successful, strategic management approach.

Page Created by: Matthew Seddon; updated by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen on April 9, 2015

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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance