PSG XI: Strategic Management in Government

strategyStrategic management in government is a practically important and theoretically interesting area to study.

Welcome to the Web Site of the EGPA Permanent Study Group on Strategic Management in Government

This Permanent Study Group has been working on studies and evaluations of strategic management practices at various levels of government and public service in European countries. This work has so far shown that strategic management is much more than a management tool. Strategic management has been a key development in the public management reforms of the EU and of individual European countries.

The Permanent Study Group XI on Strategic Management in Government was established and commenced in 2009. In the last couple of years we have put a lot of emphasis on empirical studies of what is actually happening in practice and on thorough discussion and debate in the Study Group. And we have also focused our efforts on publication of research in academic books drawing on the work of the Study Group.

The papers that have been presented in the Study Group have been useful additions to our better understanding of strategic management in government and in the public services of Europe. And we believe that a spirit of dialogue and investigation that has been important at the annual conferences has enhanced our work.

We hope to keep this spirit going, through dialogue that offers comparison and exploration of concepts, research and conclusions and through dialogue involving academics and practitioners working in the field of strategic management in government and in public services.

A key recent theme of the Study Group’s work has been the emergence of what the OECD is calling strategic-state capabilities, which may be seen a key aspect in the modernization of public governance.

Book projects of the Study Group

Members of the Permanent Study Group on Strategic Management in Government have already two books based on their research. And more are in the pipeline. Routledge published the first of our books in the middle of 2014. It was titled Strategic Management in Public Organizations: European Practices and Perspectives.  This book was based on empirical investigations and the contributions were refined through debate and discussion in the Study Group’s annual sessions at EGPA conferences since the first one held by the Group in Malta in 2009.

The second book was the result of collaboration with American researchers and academics. It was begun at a joint conference in June 2011 involving members of the Permanent Study Group (representing EGPA) and members of American Society for Public Administration. The conference was part of the Transatlantic Dialogue initiative launched by EGPA and was held at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Palgrave Macmillan published the book that resulted in the autumn of 2014 and it is titled Development in Strategic and Public Management: Studies in the US and Europe. It is wide ranging and offers many insights into how strategic management capabilities are developing in the US as well as Europe.

The book projects of the Study Group are discussed during the annual EGPA conferences. We are hoping to produce a new edited book based on research by its members. Some discussion has already taken place and there is some interest in focusing the book on research into strategic management that works, that is effective in practice. There is no doubt that practitioner in civil service roles continue to search for ways and methods of making strategic management more effective. For example, how can budgets be steered by government strategic plans? How can strategic plans be best turned into operational plans that direct the work of civil servants, local government managers, etc.? How can cultural barriers to effective strategic management be addressed? How can effective coordination of different levels of government (supranational, national, sub-national) be achieved to ensure strategic management is really effective at all levels? And so on.

The Study Group and EGPA Policy Papers for European professionals of the public sector

The Study Group is hoping to prepare two EGPA Policy Papers over the next year.

The Policy Papers are published primarily in the interest of public decision-makers. They are an important means for EGPA researchers to further diffuse their findings and to foster new opportunities for research through new contacts for field research.

There will be opportunities for our Study Group authors of Policy Papers to present their findings through the EUPAN network – the network of PA departments across Europe. And EGPA will organize a special track for Policy papers at its annual meeting. EGPA Policy papers will be posted on the EGPA webpage.

It is expected that the starting point for a Policy Paper will be a paper presented at one of the sessions of our Study Group at the annual EGPA conference – which could be the current one or an earlier one. It is very likely that this will have been a paper that was based on research that lends itself to discussing its practical application. The Policy Paper itself might stress the choices of options for action, their feasibility, and benefits for the public.

The objectives of the Study Group are to

  • Encourage comparative study of strategic management in Government and the public sector generally which is theoretically interesting and practically useful
  • Provide up to date and thorough studies of strategic management practices in Europe’s public sector and in governments and make them available in books and articles
  • Increase the numbers of academics and practitioners engaging with this field of study in line with its growing importance for modernizing public governance and public services

As indicated by these objectives, it is intended that the Study Group will work on the publication of books, EGPA Policy Papers and special editions of international journals.


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