Strategic Management in the Public Sector

Strategic Management in the Public Sector





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Strategic Management in the Public Sector

Strategic management is fast emerging in the public sector, but this analysis creates the urge to put more effort to address impediments that could derail successful implementation. The concept has impacted significantly in the business sector where firms use it as a competitive tool. However, an examination of the historical development of the technique that is still growing reveals that operators in the public sector are yet to understand the key aspects and techniques required to achieve impressive results. Looking forward, the public sector is likely to achieve tremendous advancement in its application of strategic management by addressing current stalemates and engaging in more researchers and sensitization to understand the benefits of deploying the leadership strategy.

Characteristics of Strategic Management

Changes in the business environment require organizations to use strategies that are effective and increase the likelihood for achieving targeted goals. Overall, strategic management entails planning, monitoring, analyzing, and assessing all the aspects of an organizational requirements to achieve its aspirations (Nyong’a & Maina, 2019). Alterations in business contexts will need firms to continuously monitor their strategies for prosperity. A strategic management approach enables firms to get an overview of their current situation, develop strategies, execute them, and assess the appropriateness of the executed management techniques (Sammut-Bonnici, 2015). Public institutions embrace strategic management because of the financial and nonfinancial gains associated with the technique (Nyong’a & Maina, 2019). A strategic management approach permits a public entity and its leaders to think about and set plans for future existence, helping achieve a major obligation of the firm’s senior management. Moreover, the approach is appealing because it sets the direction for the entity and its service providers (Nyong’a & Maina, 2019). Contrary to conventional strategic plans, strategic management constantly plans, follows up, and tests an entity’s operations, resulting in enhanced relations and operational efficiency.

Strategic management, as applied in the public sector, has various common features that apply across firms. One of the characteristics is the conscious practice associated with the entire process. It is worth mentioning that strategies are a product of the formed intellect and conscience that human beings have and use. Strategic management implies suggests that the every process requires significant experience and skills to handle certain activities (Narikae & Lewa, 2017). The other feature of strategic management is that it requires considerable foresight considering that the future is not certain and it is sometimes difficult to foretell what would happen. Nonetheless, based on available information, it would be possible to foretell certain aspects about the future. The other crucial feature of strategic management is that it depends on personal qualities, particularly of those leaders who serve in senior positions (Narikae & Lewa, 2017). The personal qualities such as experience and skills acquired over the course of employment cannot be developed by coaching or training sessions, but require practical exposure for extended durations of time unless one is born with the talent of being a strategic planner (Sammut-Bonnici, 2015). More fundamentally, strategic management is goal-oriented, which means that the practice takes place with the objective of analyzing the different forms using tools such as SWOT analysis and other relevant frameworks to create a plan or strategy that adequately permits the institution to get itself past all hurdles and make good use of its strengths (Narikae & Lewa, 2017). Therefore, those who want to deploy strategic management should understand the core features to increase their likelihood for achieving impressive results.

Historical Development of Research

Strategic management is a considerably young discipline that has become increasingly matured over the past five decades. The area has become consolidated over the period, while significantly broadening the range of research methodologies utilized and range of topics. According to Guerras-Martin et al. (2014) the basis of strategic management can be traced to Andrews (1971), Ansoff (1965), and Chandler (1962). Various methodologies and theories have been formed to describe the reasons underlying an organization’s prosperity and competitive advantage. Since then, the area has transformed tremendously, becoming an ever more incorporated and mature field within the area of management (Narikae & Lewa, 2017). Various factors have contributed toward the growth witnessed in this area. To begin with, there has been a significant escalation in the range of issues addressed. Research on best actions in the 1960s has paved way to an exploration of such diverse topics such as strategies, cooperation between institutions, competition and internationalization (Guerras-Martin et al. (2014). Moreover, the group has created wat to an examination of such varied topic as strategic leadership, corporate social responsibility, and relations between various aspects in an organization. Another factor that has boosted the growth of strategic management is the significant expansion in the types of research techniques used, with these forms becoming increasingly more intricate (Guerras-Martin et al. (2014). Detailed case studies have been significantly overturned by the use of quantitative approaches based on intricate econometric methods, multilevel assessment, and the recently developed hybrid forms, whereby a single research fuses qualitative and quantitative styles, with each being related to the kind of the issue to be assessed (Guerras-Martin et al. (2014). Hence, it is apparent strategic management has grown exponential in the recent past.

However, the use of strategic management in the public sector came much later. Although experiments with public organizations had existed for about three decades, the technique can be first traced to have been implemented successfully in the public sector at the beginning of 1990s (Safi & Mahmood, 2022). The delay could be attributed to the fact that strategic management and planning still generate a number of doubts and concerns as to their capacity to elevate public performance (Johanson, 2021). Players in the public sector still grapple with various aspects of strategy formulation, and face considerable challenges identifying and implementing the strategic technique that best suits the characteristic of public entities. Consequently, more research needs to happen on how strategic management may be infused into public systems to enhance their outcome.  

Priorities and Values Related to the Public Sector

The public sector where strategic management is still developing is likely to pay more attention to particular issues going forward to elevate how leaders deploy the method. It is more likely that operators will value engaging in more research in this area with the aim of gaining more understanding on how the concept works (Johanson, 2021). Increased researches on how the approach works will coincide with elevated awareness initiatives aimed at enlightening leaders and public entities the benefits of using strategic management tools (Johanson, 2021). The other issues that may become a focus of many firms in the public sector is how to use technology to facilitate the strategic management practices. ICT is fast revolutionizing how organizations perform their duties and public sectors would not want to remain behind while strengthening their capacity to use strategic management. Nonetheless, the public sector may not make significant strides if it does not make bolder steps towards embracing change.

Firms in this case may have to deploy effective change models to encourage leaders to deploy the more enhanced and competitive leadership framework. A suitable change model in this instance is Kurt Lewin’s model of change that goes through three major phases – unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Hussain et al., 2016). In the unfreezing phase, leaders undergo sensitization to see the importance of implementing the leadership technique. Real attempts to use strategic management happens in the changing stage, and implementers use this phase to assess outcomes. The final step – refreezing, entails reemphasizing the values of using strategic management in the public sector.  


Leaders should understand the primary features associated with strategic management primary features associated with strategic management to achieve impressive results. A strategic manager plans, monitors, and implements their practices as effectively as possible. Consciousness is vital when engaging in strategic management. Strategic management requires a leader to be visionary and be able to determine how the future could impact on an organization or public entity. Also part of strategic management is the need goal-oriented to be in a good position to work towards specific desires with a focused mind. The essay elaborates how the idea of strategic management emerged and developed rapidly starting the 1960s. However, the approach was embedded in the public sector in the 1990s due to some constraining factors that still derail the application of strategic management in the public arena.


Guerras-Martin, L., Madhok, A., Sanchez, A. (2014). The evolution of strategic management research: Recent trends and current directions. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 17(2), 69-76.

Hussain, S., Shen, L., Akram, T., & Haider, M. (2016). Kurt Lewin’s process model for organizational change: The role of leadership and employee involvement: A critical review. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 3, pp. 123-127.

Johanson, J. (2021). Strategic management: Public sector view.

Narikae, P., & Lewa, P. (2017). The origins and development of strategic management “knowledge”: A historical perspective. European Journal of Business and Strategic Management, 2(6), 1-19.

Nyong’a, T., & Maina, R. (2019). Influence of strategic leadership on strategy implementation at Kenya Revenue Authority, southern region in Kenya. International Academic Journal of Human Resource and Business Administration, 3(5), 128-159.

Safi, A., & Mahmood, S. (2022). Strategic management practices in the public sector: A literature review – Descriptive. International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research, 9(2), 88-104. doi:10.22192/ijamr.2022.09.02.008

Sammut-Bonnici, T. (2015). Strategic management.

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