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

Meier, Kenneth John, O'Toole, Laurence, Boyne, George Alexander and Walker, Richard 2005. Strategic management and public organizations: Testing venerable ideas against recent theories. Presented at: American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, USA, 01 - 04 September 2005.

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Miles and Snow (1978), among others, argue that strategy content is an important influence on organizational performance. Their typology, applied recently to public organizations in the United Kingdom (Andrews et al. 2005; 2006; Boyne and Walker 2004), divides strategic actors into four general types: prospectors, defenders, analyzers, and reactors. This paper begins by integrating the typological work on strategy content or strategic management into the O'Toole-Meier formal theory of public management. This exercise shows that strategy content is a subset of generally accepted management functions in public organizations. The paper 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 strategy works best in regard to the goals of the more politically powerful elements of the organization's environment. A reactor strategy is ineffective in all situations.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
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Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 04:02

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