P29 Strategizing for the common good: how public entities “do” strategy to solve public issues

Panel Chairs:
Sara Brorström, Bert George, Åge Johnsen, David Špaček and Martijn van der Steen

Panel Chairs:

Corresponding Chair:
David Špaček, david.spacek@econ.muni.cz

Strategic planning and management are popular in contemporary public sector organizations. They are considered as specific approaches that can enable effective strategizing in and by public sector organizations. They also can serve as a means of learning new practices, questioning ongoing development, and enhancing performance. There has, however, been considerable disagreement about the applicability and effectiveness of strategic management and planning in the public sector.

While a great deal is already known about strategic planning and management in the public sector, available literature indicates that more research is necessary that would unravel the ways in which strategy, strategizing, strategic planning and strategic management can be useful, or not, to public organizations and related entities (e.g. networks, communities).

A number of questions related to strategic planning and management still seem to be relevant:

  • In what forms (i.e. as a formal document vs. strategy as practice) do strategies exist?
  • Who is involved in strategy formulation?
  • How do public sector organizations and other entities (networks, communities, etc.) actually “do” strategy in practice?
  • Which tools are used and how?
  • What does the process look like?
  • How are the strategies followed?
  • What results do the strategies and strategizing produce?
  • How was the problem at hand actually solved (or not?)
  • Strategies for smart public services – do they exist?

Answering these questions may be helpful for advancing the theory as well as the practice of strategic planning and management in the public domain. The panel invites both theoretical, review and empirical papers that deal with these questions. Paper abstracts should include a short description of the topic, the research question(s) and method, and an indication of the research findings. Abstracts should have max 500 words including references.

The panel seeks to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on the problems and opportunities of strategic management, and we intend to take a broader perspective than “just” strategic management and deal more with strategizing and its applicability and effectiveness in the public sector.