A Normative Model For Strategic Planning
Gillespie, W. (2011). A Normative Model For Strategic Planning (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4973
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4973
Abstract The thesis proposes a normative model for strategic planning using stakeholder theory as the primary theoretical framework. Development of the normative model is achieved by analysis of the literature and corroborative engagement with local government practitioners. Strategic planning processes in public sector agencies involve many challenges; the processes are directed by government but influenced by many stakeholders who have an interest in the outcomes. Effective management of the strategic planning process suggests it is important for organisations to identify how stakeholders use their status and position to influence the process and final decision. Organisations can then apply the appropriate processes to manage stakeholders‘ interests and expectations to improve the quality of information used to inform decision making and to improve accountability and transparency of decision making. A review of stakeholder theory identifies the fundamental requirements for effective stakeholder management. A further comprehensive review and analysis of the literature from sustainable development and strategic management allows a normative model for decision making to be developed based on those perspectives1. The model is then used to specify criteria for a targeted assessment of New Zealand government documentation and local authorities‘ statements and processes. 1 A model can be viewed as a likeness of something ((Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 1997). Frankfort-Nachmias and Nachmias go on to say that models are used to gain insight into phenomena that the scientist cannot observe directly. Hardina (2002) describes models as constructs used to understand or visualize patterns of relationships among concepts, individual, groups and organisations. In this case the final normative model is made up of literature and practitioner perspectives of reality. A Normative Model for Strategic Planning The scope and boundaries of the thesis are established through an initial analysis of four studies (international and New Zealand), an audit report, 28 local authorities‘ documents and New Zealand government legislation. The analysis highlights issues of understanding devolution, accountability, responsibility and participation in decision making. Selected local authority interviewees rate the characteristics and processes of the original normative model to provide feedback on the relative importance to local authorities‘ strategic planning processes. Furthermore, the interviewees share their views on the additional requirements to further improve the model. The final analysis distinguishes the differences between the original normative model (what may occur), how local authorities currently complete strategic planning (what does occur) and the modified normative model (what should occur). The thesis concludes with a modified normative model which if adopted by local authorities (or in fact other public sector agencies) has the potential to improve strategic planning through more effective stakeholder management.
University of Waikato
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