Strategic Management Public Sector Case Study


Strategic management is regarded as one of the highest forms of management activities in the South African government. Consequently it is mandatory for Heads of government departments to develop strategic plans for their departments. Despite compliance to the strategic management framework as prescribed through the Public service regulations and the Treasury regulations, service delivery targets as set out in these plans are often not achieved. This also results in the underspending of monies budgeted for the delivery of basic government services. This paper presents the findings of the study undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of strategic management in the public service. The study employed a qualitative approach in the form of a case study research method targeting the Department of Local Government and Housing in Limpopo provincial administration. It is evident from the findings that the department is comprised of a number of elements or organizations within its environment that it is dependent on for it to achieve its objectives, and that some of these organizations are in turn dependent on the department to achieve theirs. This makes the department and organizations within its environment typical complex adaptive systems in that for them to achieve their goals, they need to adapt to one another. Failure to meet strategic plan targets in the department is attributed to (1) the government prescribed strategic choice and linear approach to strategic management that does not take into account the complexity and uncertainty of the department’s environment and the views of stakeholders; (2) the capability of management to perform the strategic management function which is questionable, (3) lack of a systems thinking approach in the department, and (4) ineffective strategic control. The study recommends a strategic management model for the Public service that will encourage management to see the department as a system that is influenced by and also influences other systems within its environment to achieve its objectives. This will facilitate the interactions between the department and its stakeholders during the formulation of strategies and the implementation thereof. Key Words: Strategic management, strategic plan, strategic formulation, strategic implementation, strategic control, complexity, complex adaptive systems, organization, strategy, systems thinking, environment, public service, resources and uncertainty.


The article deals with the main peculiarities and problems of strategic personnel management in public sector. Today, strategic management has moved beyond forprofit business organizations to include governmental agencies, hospitals, and other not-for-profit public organizations. Although strategic management in public organizations has not been as well researched as that in for-profit or business organizations, it is important for these organizations as well. Personnel management of public organization is very important, because personnel is not only the most important resource of public organizations, but also the most sensitive field, therefore when managing it, it is necessary to invoke modern prime methods and refer to the new personnel management scientific research results. Changed creed and cultural values change personnel management methods radically. During the public management reforms the main attention is paid not to traditional personnel administration means, but to such, which would stimulate growth of personnel motivation, qualification, efficiency and flexibility. Strategic goal orientation in personnel management helps to find and solidify long-term personnel policy goals and, following these goals, to coordinate individual functions of personnel management. Having organised personnel management and each component of it in every specific organization in such way it is possible to achieve the best results. There are some essential problems in personnel system of public organization. The most important are the following problems: lack of motivation; status of officials; lack of possibilities to pursue career and to develop; limitations of motivation and salary systems; automatic position preferment; limited possibilities to select personnel. Personnel management strategy is an active, longterm approach, forming a total concept of the organization, to the most common aspects of the organization personnel. In its turn it is related with management strategies. Four versions of the connections of these strategies are possible: Personnel and management strategies exist separate from each other; Personnel strategy arises from management strategy; Management strategy arises from personnel strategy; Personnel and organization strategies are developed in mutual interaction and coordination way.

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