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Strategies for GoverningReinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century$
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Alasdair Roberts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714405

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714405.001.0001

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(p.131) Chapter 22 Practice
Strategies for Governing

Alasdair Roberts

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that the goal of developing a new way of thinking about public administration is not only to improve research and teaching but also, ultimately, to improve professional practice. This can be done in two ways. Most directly, one can show leaders how to improve in crafting, executing, and adapting strategies for governing. All leaders use some sort of strategy to guide their decision-making, but these strategies may be poorly reasoned simply because leaders are unaware that they are engaged in strategy-making. As a result, they make strategies unconsciously and haphazardly. One's purpose should be to show leaders how strategy-making can be done deliberately, through an explicit assessment of goals, contexts, and methods. In particular, one wants leaders to think carefully about the challenge of executing strategy through the design and administration of state institutions. Decisions about strategy ought to be driven by an understanding of what institutions can or cannot do, as well as an understanding of the work involved in renovating existing institutions and building new ones. The connection between strategy and state architecture is critical, and it is a subject in which public administration scholars should have distinctive competence.

Keywords:   public administration, state leaders, governance strategies, decision making, strategy making, state institutions, state architecture

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