Special Issue "Strategic Management in Public Sector: Reforms, Contexts, Traditions"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul Joyce

Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Interests: strategic management and leadership in the public sector; change management; reform and modernization of the public sector
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Denita Cepiku

Faculty of Economics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Roma RM, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: public management; network management; co-production; strategic management; healthcare management
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marco Meneguzzo

Faculty of Economics, Università della Svizzera italiana, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cultural institutions management; healthcare management; strategy; new public management; non-profit organization networks; social enterprise social innovation
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Josef Bernhart

European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC), Institute for Public Management, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: public management reform; quality management; social management; brand management; management of sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Strategic planning is a “deliberative, disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why” (Bryson 2018). The growth of strategic management models and ideas within public sector was prompted in part by administrative reforms that took place in the 1990s (Hood, 1991; Pollitt & Bouckaert 2004), and that have made it an increasingly common practice in governments around the world (Joyce 2015; Ferlie and Ongaro 2015).

Although strategic management as an area of academic inquiry typically uses a contingency framework (Walker 2013), scarce attention has been paid to the influence of context on the design and implementation of strategic management reforms.

The cultural, political, historical and administrative contexts shape the ways in which public administrations work and the ways in which they may be changed (Ongaro and van Thiel 2018; Pollitt and Bouckaert 2017). However, the study of the evolution of strategic management from the New Public Management to the New Public Governance has not taken into explicit consideration the role of context. Administrative culture as a context determinant could have an interesting impact on public strategic management, not only in the formulation of a strategy, but also in how effectively a given strategy is implemented (Smith and Vecchio 1993). Strategic planning and management in government may have similarities around the world but there will also be important variations in both practices and results (Joyce 2015).

Common contextual features, although appearing with varying intensity, include the attempts to recover from the 2007/2008 global financial and economic crisis and the trend to populism, while differences persist in terms of variations in the strategic capabilities of the national governments (Cepiku et al. 2016; Drumaux and Joyce 2018). Besides the contemporary features of the context, administrative history, culture and traditions are expected to influence strategic management (Meneguzzo 2007).

Do such administrative traditions persist and influence strategic management practice or are they fading as a result of the “globalization” of public management studies? Is there convergence in strategic management reforms and practices? If differences exist, are we overlooking them, by simply classifying countries in pilots and laggards?

The aim of the special issue is to study the relationship between strategic management and national contexts from a comparative perspective. Researches that contribute to our understanding of how context, and in particular different administrative traditions, affects strategic management in different countries are welcome. The guest editors will look for a diversity of articles from different states (Napoleonic, including Mediterranean, Rechtsstaat, and Anglo-Saxon and the Scandinavian types; Kickert 2007) and models of administrative culture (the Weberian and the “public interest” administrative cultures; Pollitt and Bouckaert 2004).


Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.

Cepiku, D., Mussari, R., & Giordano, F. (2016). Local governments managing austerity: Approaches, determinants and impact. Public Administration, 94(1), 223-243.

Drumaux, A., & Joyce, P. (2018). The Strategic State and Public Governance in European Institutions. In Strategic Management for Public Governance in Europe (pp. 1-28). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Ferlie, E., & Ongaro, E. (2015). Strategic management in public services organizations: Concepts, schools and contemporary issues. Routledge.

Hood, C. (1991). A public management for all seasons?. Public Administration, 69(1), 3–19.

Joyce, P. (2015). Strategic Management in the Public Sector. Routledge.

Meneguzzo (2007), The study of public management in Italy. Management and the dominance of public law. In Kickert, W. (Ed.). The study of public management in Europe and the US: a competitive analysis of national distinctiveness. Routledge.

Ongaro, E., & van Thiel, S. (2018). Languages and public administration in Europe. In The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe (pp. 61-98). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Pollitt, C., & Bouckaert, G. (2017). Public management reform: a comparative analysis-into the age of austerity. Oxford University Press.

Pollitt, C., Bouckaert, G. (2004). Public management reform: A comparative analysis. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Smith C., Vecchio, R. (1993). Organizational Culture And Strategic Management: Issues In The Management Of Strategic Change. Journal of Managerial Issues, 5(1), 53-70.

Walker, R. M. (2013). Strategic Management and Performance in Public Organizations: Findings from the Miles and Snow Framework. Public Admin Rev, 73: 675-685.

Prof. Dr. Paul Joyce
Prof. Dr. Denita Cepiku
Prof. Dr. Marco Meneguzzo
Prof. Dr. Josef Bernhart
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Strategic management
  • Administrative tradition
  • Public management

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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