STRATEGY, STRUCTURE AND PROCESS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: A TEST OF THE MILES AND SNOW MODEL

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Abstract

We present a comprehensive empirical application of the Miles and Snow (1978) model of organizational strategy, structure and process to the public sector. We refine the model by distinguishing between strategy formulation and implementation, and applying it to 90 public service organizations. Although the empirical evidence shows that organizational strategies fit the Miles and Snow categories of prospector, defender and reactor, the relationship between these strategies and organizational structures (for example, centralization) and processes (for example, planning) is less consistent with their model. Conclusions are drawn for public management theory and practice.

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