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Strategic Management in Public and Non Profit Sector


Strategic planning is based on the premise that leaders and managers of public and nonprofit organizations must be effective strategists if their organizations are to fulfill their missions, meet their mandates, and satisfy the different  stakeholders. With increased emphasis on performance measures, both public and nonprofit organizations are seeking a new strategic planning approach. Strategic "management" is an ongoing process that integrates strategic planning with other management systems. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the field of strategic management as it is applied in public and nonprofit organizations. The course also covers techniques and processes to develop and implement strategic planning.

In this perspective, the course aims at providing a conceptual framework for allowing students to (1) develop the competences to analyze critical short and long term issues facing public organizations and (2) make recommendation for strategic solutions.  At the end of the course students are expected to have: (1) a good understanding of the peculiarities that characterize strategic-management in public sector organizations, (2) the ability to identify and analyze critical long term and short term issues that public, private and nonprofit sector organizations have to face, (3) the relationship between strategic management ,entrepreneurship and public leadership.

The course is divided into two parts.

A first set of sessions, firstly, analyses what strategy is and how strategy develops within organizations. Theoretical foundations of strategy formulation  are explored, with particular reference to the peculiarities of strategy making in public, private and nonprofit sector organizations.  Secondly, it tackles the issues related to the tools for strategy formulation presenting tools help the organizations to create the rational understanding for envisioning and supporting sustainable policies. Matrices for the environmental analysis, positioning map, stakeholders’ engagement, system thinking and scenarios analysis  are among the strategic tools investigated.

The course is given through frontal lectures of 4 hours. Teaching methods combine lectures, guest speakers, large use of plenary debates and group presentation during the course.                   

Class Partecipation is considered essential in order to develop a critical understanding of the concepts presented.

Exam: Written exam

P. Joyce (2015). Strategic Management in the Public Sector – Routledge
J. M. Bryson (2011). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organization: A guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement – 4th Edition, Jossey-Bass
H. Mintzberg, B. W. Ahlstrand and J. Lampel (1998). Strategic Safari: The complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management – Financial Times Prentice Hall         



Meneguzzo M.

Course director

Barreca M.


Additional information

Academic year
Master of Arts in Economics and Communication in Public Management and Policy, Core course, Specialization in Public Communication and Management, 2nd year