Challenges to strategic planning in public institutions

Challenges to strategic planning in public institutions PurposeA strategic plan is a document used to communicate an organisation’s goals and the actions needed to achieve those goals. Strategic planning in public organisations promotes timely decisions, enhances the management of limited resources in a more rational manner, improves service delivery and induces greater satisfaction of customers. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to critically examine the strategic planning challenges facing the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), and how these impact organisational performance; second, to identify strategies that can be implemented to enhance strategic planning and performance management in the DTPS.Design/methodology/approachThis paper used a qualitative case study design with the aid of document analysis to provide insight into the research questions.FindingsThe paper concludes that public institutions such as the DTPS face a plethora of challenges that militate against successful strategic planning and implementation. A major challenge is resistance to change arising from a desire to maintain the status quo. This paper argues that it is important to promote strategic planning, and aligning organisational objectives with performance in public institutions.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is based on documentary research and therefore its findings may lack current findings that would have emerged from direct interviews.Practical implicationsThis research contributes towards efforts being made to make strategic planning and implementation effective and credible in public institutions especially in sub Saharan Africa.Originality/valueIn many South African public institutions, strategic planning is viewed as the work of top management, a misconception which compromises service delivery. In addition, strategic planning has been implemented as a direct attempt to inhibit poor budgetary planning and corruption in procurement systems, and in order to effectively manage public resources. There is a need for the department to conduct regular skills development programmes, uproot top-level bureaucracy, and increase innovation, monitoring and evaluation of organisational activities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Public Leadership Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-4929
DOI
10.1108/IJPL-10-2019-0062
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeA strategic plan is a document used to communicate an organisation’s goals and the actions needed to achieve those goals. Strategic planning in public organisations promotes timely decisions, enhances the management of limited resources in a more rational manner, improves service delivery and induces greater satisfaction of customers. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to critically examine the strategic planning challenges facing the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), and how these impact organisational performance; second, to identify strategies that can be implemented to enhance strategic planning and performance management in the DTPS.Design/methodology/approachThis paper used a qualitative case study design with the aid of document analysis to provide insight into the research questions.FindingsThe paper concludes that public institutions such as the DTPS face a plethora of challenges that militate against successful strategic planning and implementation. A major challenge is resistance to change arising from a desire to maintain the status quo. This paper argues that it is important to promote strategic planning, and aligning organisational objectives with performance in public institutions.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is based on documentary research and therefore its findings may lack current findings that would have emerged from direct interviews.Practical implicationsThis research contributes towards efforts being made to make strategic planning and implementation effective and credible in public institutions especially in sub Saharan Africa.Originality/valueIn many South African public institutions, strategic planning is viewed as the work of top management, a misconception which compromises service delivery. In addition, strategic planning has been implemented as a direct attempt to inhibit poor budgetary planning and corruption in procurement systems, and in order to effectively manage public resources. There is a need for the department to conduct regular skills development programmes, uproot top-level bureaucracy, and increase innovation, monitoring and evaluation of organisational activities.

Journal

International Journal of Public LeadershipEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 23, 2019

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