The concept of policy competence
In line with the pervasive impact of government policies on health care services worldwide, policy competence is becoming an important element in the successful strategic management of these organizations. The competencies essential for successful performance of management work depend on nature of the work. According to (Longest, 2004), much of the management work of an organization depends on the productive fit between the organization and its external environment. Accordingly, the perquisite competencies for strategic managers include those that help them achieve a sustainable match between an organization and its external environment (Longest, 2004). Policy competence refers to the ability of strategic managers effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities springing from health policy, and help shape the policies to be more helpful or less negative for the organization.
Government policies and decisions, regardless of their form have direct implication on health service organizations. Due to the substantial implication of government policies on health care organizations, successful strategic management demands that managers understand the aspects of the policy, particularly those affecting their organizations. An important component of policy competence is adequate knowledge of policy environment of an organization. Policy competence requires adequate knowledge of health policies and the process of making them. Owing to the fact that government policies are decisions, policy competence requires an understanding of the participants, contest, and processes involved in a particular type of decision-making (Ginter, et al.,2010). The several factors affect the decision-making process, including the preference of organizations, individuals, and interest groups together with demographic, cultural, economic, ecological, psychological, ethical, legal, technological, and social variables. Consequently, policy competence requires managers to not only focus on policies, but focus also on the larger context in which decisions are made.
Ginter, P . M., Duncan, W . J. and Swayne, L. E. (2010). Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations (7th Ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
Longest, B. (2004). An international constant: The crucial role of policy competence in the effective strategic management of health services organizations. Health Services Management Research: An Official Journal of The Association of University Programs in Health Administration / HSMC, AUPHA, 17(2), 71-78.