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Management and Public Service

According to one of the greatest physiologist Erik Erickson, people are born leaders and not made leaders as it is perceived by many; he proved this in the third stage (Initiative Vs Guilt) of his Psychological theory. He stated that people are born leaders and not made leaders and that leadership skills in a person are detected in early childhood during the child growth and development stage. The support and motivation that we get from parents, teachers and work mates determine our performance in life (Cherry, 2010). If a child has leadership skills and they are well nurtured then they are destined to become excellent managers. The rapid growth of the information and communication technologies has revolutionized the way most nations conduct business transactions; in the ancient days most activities were run by the government or the public sector but recently the private sector has contributed greatly to the nation's economic growth and prosperity. Most businesses in the private sector are owned by members of the general public/entrepreneurs whereas all the activities of the public sector are controlled by the government. There are various managerial strategies that the government has to put in place to ensure that its activities ran smoothly; this is because of the large composition of most government departments. The focus of this essay paper will be to describe two managerial strategies that are used in public administration and that impact public service. It will explain specifically how these managerial strategies impact public service.

Managerial Strategies

The first managerial strategy that most governments use is the Network Managerial Strategy: According to Meier and Gill, the public sector consists of several departments and as a result, most managers operate in a "networked setting" where the operations of each department depend on other related departments (Meier and Gill 2000a). For instance, in most nations the education department is dependent to the financial and health departments; most students have access to bursary for the tuition fee from the treasury and access to quality health care from the health department. The reason behind the creation of such a managerial strategy was because most nations were developing what is known as a "Hollow State" government where no well-defined managerial structures were(Milward and Provan, 2000b). There is another way in which other interested parties are incorporated in this type of management and they are through private-public partnership where the private sector are given a tender to supply goods and services. One of the importance's of this management strategy is that it gives the government an easy time in managing the networked departments unlike managing each department independently.

As indicated in the paper, the rapid growth and development of the information and communication technologies sector changed the way both the public and private sectors conduct business; it is important to these changes gave rise to a new managerial strategy, the Innovation Managerial Strategy: according to Halvorsen et al (2005), there are a number of processes involved in this strategy and they include private – public partnership and the use of incentive structures by the public sector to speed up the development. There are however some differences between the private and public sector innovation managerial strategy. In the public sector, the main aim incorporating incentives is to increase funding for its projects, problem solving, have access to funds for more staffing and finally create a good public relations image (Halvorsen et al, 2005), this is not entirely the case in the private sector. The importance of this is that by providing incentives, the public sector has a chance of attracting more investors on board and this plays a major role in the elimination of monopoly that most companies enjoy.

According to Provan and Milward (2001), one question that most people ask in relation to the above managerial strategies is do this strategy give the desired outcome? The answer to this is yes; to understand this, let us have a look at one nation that has greatly benefited from the networked managerial strategy; Kenya. This is one of the rapidly developing nations in Africa and the government of the day rolled out a free primary education (FPE) project in 2002 and this greatly benefited millions of less fortunate children who didn't have access to education. To achieve the government had to "merge" the education, agriculture and the finance departments; the finance department was mandated with the responsibility of releasing funds to cater for the education and education material for these children. The agriculture department supplied foods to the schools in arid and semi arid areas and children were given free lunch, this motivated more children to enroll in school.

In summation, this essay paper has looked at two managerial strategies that are used by most governments in the administration of the public sector. It has discussed how these strategies are applied and more importantly the paper has given a situation of a nation whose people have greatly benefitted from one of the managerial strategies. It is, therefore, important to conclude that by rolling out this type of managerial strategies most people stand to gain either in health or education.


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