Strategy discourses in public sector organizations. A qualitative focus group study.

Authors

  • Christian Lystbaek Aarhus University
  • Jens Holmgrem Aalborg University
  • Ole Friis

Abstract

Strategic concerns have spread into public management and fueled the growth of strategic practices. The purpose of this study is to examine strategy discourses in public sector organizations. It describes how strategy is articulated and conceptualized with reference to dominant strategy discourses and identifies the structural tension between these discourses.

Based on a deconstructive analysis of focus group interviews, the article identifies four strategy discourses: “rationalist” discourse, “structuralist” discourse, “idealist” discourse and “constructivist” discourse. Strategy makers draw on several or all of the discourses in public sector organizations and the body of literature on strategic management related to them. The discourses are different but not incompatible in practice. Rather, they complement each other in strategic practices. Thus, the article suggests a more nuanced way of strategic discourses in public sector organizations and provides inspiration to other sectors as well. The article concludes by suggesting directions for further research.


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Published

2017-09-10

How to Cite

Lystbaek, C., Holmgrem, J., & Friis, O. (2017). Strategy discourses in public sector organizations. A qualitative focus group study. International Public Management Review, 18(1), 21–44. Retrieved from http://ipmr.net/index.php/ipmr/article/view/321

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Articles