Strategic Management in Public Services Organizations : Concepts, Schools and Contemporary Issues book cover
2nd Edition

Strategic Management in Public Services Organizations
Concepts, Schools and Contemporary Issues

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 4, 2022
ISBN 9780367517151
April 4, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
304 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Strategic Management in Public Services Organizations takes a comparative and international view on the appropriate use of strategic management models that are affecting the way public services organizations are managed.

In an era of New and post New Public Management reforms, public managers at all levels are expected to respond to these new approaches, that profoundly affect their work practices, skills and knowledge bases. Choosing a promising strategic management model and implementing it in a way that works for the organisation or inter organizational network in question also depends on an understanding of local politico-administrative and cultural contexts: this book helps the reader identify how to successfully tailor strategic management approaches to their specific circumstances and needs. This second edition builds upon the successes of the well-received first edition. Thoroughly updated to help public managers meet the challenges of a new decade, it has a refreshed collection of mini-cases, and now includes chapter summaries. It also includes a new chapter on collaborative strategy and co-creation, in response to the growth of interest in more open forms of public policymaking.

This is an advanced textbook aimed at the postgraduate level, particularly students on MPAs and MBAs with a public sector option or MScs in Public Policy and Public Management.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: our core argument and overview  2. Schools of strategic management and their implications for contemporary public services organizations - part 1: from structure to culture  3. Further proliferation of schools of strategic management - part 2: the 1980s onwards  4. Collaborative and network based forms of strategy  5. Strategy making and governance in the third sector  6. Strategy as process: a review and prospective agenda  7. Framing the context: managing strategically public services organisations in different politico-administrative ‘houses’  8. Strategy and performance  9. Strategic management, the quest for excellence, and the ‘best practices’ research in public management  10. Conclusion: strategic management in the public sector as both ‘science’ and ‘art and profession’

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Ewan Ferlie is Professor of Public Services Management at King’s College London, UK. He was also recently Hon Chair of the Society of Studies for Organizing in Health Care, a Learned Society. He has published widely in the field of public management change and reorganizing.

Edoardo Ongaro is Professor of Public Management at the Open University, UK. He is Immediate Past President of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA – President 2013-2019) and an editor of Public Policy and Administration. He has published extensively in the field of comparative public management.


"I have been using this esteemed book for years for executive master's students in strategic public management. The second edition enriches the importance of 'context' for understanding public organizations by new mini-cases, and adds a very relevant chapter on collaborative governance, making the book even more topical."

Nicolette van Gestel, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

"The encyclopedic coverage of decades of research makes Ferlie and Ongaro's contribution an invaluable resource for scholars. The mini-cases, drawn from a variety of organizational and policy environments enrich the book and bring the subject of strategic management to life."

Jeffrey D. Straussman, University at Albany, USA


"Ferlie and Ongaro are to be congratulated on producing this exemplary volume. It is set to become the standard reference point for students and researchers alike."

Stephen P Osborne, University of Edinburgh, UK


"the authors have made a major contribution to the literature on public and nonprofit strategic management. Their book will be a must-read, must-cite resource for any serious scholar or doctoral student studying public and nonprofit strategic management."

John M. Bryson, University of Minnesota, USA


"In summary, this is a book that focuses on different schools of thought about strategic management. It addresses some very important topics: notably, the impact of strategic management on organisational performance and how lessons about successful strategic management can be transferred from one context to another. It stresses the need to look at the context of strategic management, and thereby points to a need to recognise that strategic management varies in practice. The book is, therefore, a warning against oversimplifying the nature of strategic management. Finally, it is a book that is upbeat about the future of strategic management as a subject of academic study and as a useful development in public administration."

Paul Joyce, Local Government Studies


"The book serves two main audiences. On one hand, it can be an excellent manual for graduate students in Public Management programs, especially sections 2 and 3, where the authors provide a complete overview of the schools of SM. On the other hand, it is also an advanced contribution for scholars in the field; they may be most interested in reading and discussing sections 6 (about the role of context(s)), 7 (the relationship between strategy and performance), and 9 (conclusions, where the SM in public sector is described as a "science" and "art and profession")."

Tommaso Agasisti, MIP Milan Polytechnic University, Italy


"One of the unique strengths of Ferlie’s and Ongaro’s work is that they make an, in our view largely successful, attempt at integrating and accommodating these diverse and somewhat controversial ambitions in a single – modestly sized – volume…. A second major strength of Ferlie’s and Ongaro’s book emanates from the emphasis it puts on illustrating theoretical deliberations by concrete and well-elaborated, in-depth examples…. Finally, the book provides a broad reflection with a conclusion chapter, which considers the nature of public strategic management in the public sector."

György Hajnal, Local Government Studies


"This book presents significant advances in the theoretical and practical understanding of public sector strategic management in its context. The book provides a contemporary public sector strategic perspective that is geared to comprehend the current and future challenges and provide sign posts for scholars and public sector actors to strategically act on the many contemporary challenges."

Giuseppe Grossi, Kristianstad University, Sweden