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Strategy and Organizational Capacity: Finding a Fit, Article Review Example

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Article Review

The present article discusses the necessity of building a strong strategic management system for managers in the public sector. The authors analyze the whole system of strategic management, identify its key elements and investigate steps to make a strong strategic management system in an organization. Finally, they propose an efficient 6-step model to design the strategic change process and to create an efficient management control system for a public organization.

The present work is dedicated to the exploration of strategic management implications existing in the public sector. Given the ambiguity and much controversy in data pertaining to strategic management essence, main factors that have to be taken into consideration before, during and after the implementation of a strategic management plan and ways to enhance the organization’s capacity and probability of success, the need to compose a more structured and coherent scheme for strategic management has come to the fore. The authors offer an extensive theoretical research on the subject of strategic change management handling, answering the main questions for public managers and designing an efficient scheme that takes care of all significant steps and elements of a strategic management plan as well as processes that are engaged in its implementation. The main subjects of concerns for the authors are the strategic management composition, levels of implementation of a strategic management plan as well as steps for its preparation that help ensure its success afterwards (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996).

Speaking about strategic management process in general, the authors emphasize that it has three core processes constituting its pillars: resource allocation, control and evaluation, and planning (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996). Deriving their analysis from that point, the authors outline the following basic elements that need to be present during the strategic management plan implementation:

  • Strategic management is a process focusing on long-term health of an organization;
  • Strategic management constitutes a cornerstone of the strategic management system;
  • Resource allocation processes include staffing, financial and capital requirements;
  • Control and evaluation represent performance feedback during and after the strategic management plan’s implementation;
  • Strategic management presupposes integration of all organizational processes and resources;
  • Strategic management is not static and does not end with the development of a strategic management plan;
  • Strategic management recognizes and embraces organizational theories, including the human and behavioral aspects of change (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996).

Continuing the discussion of strategic management, the authors discuss four essential levels of the plan, including the implementation thereof, strategic planning, resource allocation and evaluation processes (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996). They state that strategic management is exposed to a large set of influences within and outside the organization. Among important external factors they name organizational autonomy and stimuli, while internal factors include human/behavioral, structural ones, prior experience, and process design. Both categories determine the organization’s capacity to implement the strategic plan and to ensure its success (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996).

Finally, the authors attribute much attention to the detailed analysis of the preparation process that precedes the model implementation. This process represents a sequence of actions to implement and sustain strategic management plans. The proposed model has 6 steps that are awaited to give the public manager a sufficient basis for the strategic plan implementation in a logical, prepared and cohesive manner. Thus, to achieve empirical, prescriptive results offered by the authors, it is vital to consider the proposed steps carefully (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996).

The first stage concerns education and development of senior management team. The key concepts included in this stage are identification of purpose and products (which means that the change agent should be defined about the ultimate result the change will bring to, and the elements thereof that will be affected), variety of approaches (the modern theory of change management supposes a huge number of approaches to be utilized, so a thorough consideration of the possible change should take them into account to choose the best alternative), and leadership responsibilities (the concept of leader takes a central place in any organizational change process) (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996). The second step concerns a more detailed identification of outcomes and output of the change.  Taking into consideration the interchangeability of these terms, the authors identify the latter as the short-term result of the change and the former as a long-term one, which enriches the scope of results considered (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996).

Step three involves pre-implementation assessment, meaning the availability of resources and possibility of implementation of this or that approach successfully; further comes the step of review and modification of desired outputs (which involves creating a more realistic picture). These steps are followed by a step of process design itself and complete with capacity-building modifications (they should be the ones generated in step four and be unique). The authors argue that following this procedure all public managers will advance substantially in building a strong strategic control framework (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996).

Findings of the present article provide great assistance for public managers who are planning to implement a strategic change. Nowadays complex organizational efforts are applied while introducing a change, which can be changed in case materials of this research are utilized properly. They can be used in a number of ways: to help align the change efforts with organizational capabilities, to identify areas of deficiency, increasing the probability of success, and to clarify terminology, expectations and responsibilities traditionally associated with the change-related activities (Vinzant & Vinzant, 1996). Approaching change in the proposed manner may increase organizational management in the public sector substantially, which in itself represents the purpose of the present theoretical research.

References

Vinzant, D.H., & Vinzant, J.C. (1996). Strategy and Organizational Capacity: Finding a Fit. Public Productivity & Management Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 139-157.

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