“Elbanna, S. 2013. Processes and impacts of strategic management: Evidence from the public sector in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Public Administration, 36(6): 1-14.”
In this article, the author investigates the processes as well as impacts of the strategic management in the United Arab Emirates public sector. In particular, the article surveys how public organizations in United Arab Emirates formulate, implement, and assess their strategic plans. According to the author, the fluctuating effectiveness and popularity has affected strategic management negatively in its numerous guises. It was very popular from mid-1960s to mid-1970s but suffered a popularity and effectiveness downturn during late 1970s and early 1980s.
In this article, the author employs both the qualitative and quantitative methodologies in investigating the strategic management processes and impacts in UAE public sector. His study sample consists of 136 federal and local organizations in UAE. From the study, the author found that all 136 organizations had printed strategic plans, suggesting a broadly spread use of the strategic management in the public sector of UAE. The study also established that, from 2007, the UAE government has been encouraging both the federal and local organizations to employ the strategic management process.
In terms of strategic planning unit organizational level, this study found that 98% of the sampled organizations had organizational units accountable for the activities of strategic planning. The participants also showed positive attitudes towards strategic planning importance. The author mentions that the strategic plan implementation measures how far the implementing processes of the strategic plan address all the main activities, which managers require to put a strategic plan into action. According to Elbanna, strategic plan evaluation entails the actions and activities that organizations require to evaluate the strategic plan.
Strategic management is a comparatively new in the public sector. It essentially represents a key change in public sector organizations management. The present surge for the strategic management in public organizations is related to various events, which too triggered far-reaching reforms in the public sector. In fact, there appears to be a strong linking between the economic crisis of 1980s and the improved emphasis in the use of strategic management in the public sector organizations. The implications of strategic management on public organizations cannot be underestimated.
For one, public organizations are probable to embrace strategic management during fiscal austerity periods to help the agency managers contain the budget as well as maintain the funding for the highest priority areas in the agency. Because funding constraints and uncertainties are endemic to the public services, we expect public organizations to make their organizational goals, outcomes, and outputs much more transparent in the strategies to secure the continuing subsidy from the government bodies.
In addition, strategic management enhances the external control of the way public organizations use the inadequate public assets. In my latest interviews with a number of managers in an organization, I discovered that strategic planning and management is now a necessary activity for this organization, since the treasury always has the problem releasing the yearly budgets to the public organizations, which lack strategic planning. The implication of this is that strategic planning is externally enforced to the organizations from the relevant authorities, as Elbanna claims in the article. There is an indication that, with the strategic planning and management, the public organizations might be able to attract subsidy from various bases. When government funding is insufficient or not forthcoming, the public organizations can present their strategic management documents as their strategy or vision that potential funding agencies can purchase into in terms of money and commitment.