As director of the policy office with the American Red Cross-Washington, D.C. Headquarters, prepare an organizational PowerPoint briefing to explain how a newly implemented information-sharing limitation will restrict your team’s efforts to collaborate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during an impending hurricane expected to produce severe flooding, potentially leaving millions homeless in Texas. Be sure to discuss the following in your briefing:
Incorporate appropriate animations, transitions, and graphics as well as speaker notes for each slide. The speaker notes may be comprised of brief paragraphs or bulleted lists and should cite material appropriately. Add audio to each slide using the Media section of the Insert tab in the top menu bar for each slide.
Support your presentation with at least five scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources may be included.
Length: 12-15 slides (with a separate reference slide)
Notes Length: 200-350 words for each slide
Be sure to include citations for quotations and paraphrases with references in APA format and style where appropriate. Save the file as PPT with the correct course code information.
Week 5 PUB-720-References
1. Bubar, J. (2018). Puerto Rico one year later: Thousands of Puerto Ricans have fled to the U.S. mainland since Hurricane Maria struck last September. (pdf)
2. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (2018). Organization [Website]. Department of Homeland Security. https://www.fema.gov/
3. The American National Red Cross. (2018). Organization [Website]. https://www.redcross.org/
4. Walker, R. M. (2013). Strategic management and performance in public organizations: Findings from the Miles and Snow Framework. Public…
Strategic Management and Performance in Public Organizations: Findings from the Miles and Snow
Walker, Richard M.
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW; SEP 2013, 73 5, p675-p685, 11p.
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Social Sciences Citation Index
Strategic Management and Performance in Public Organizations: Findings from the Miles and Snow
This article integrates the research evidence that applies Miles and Snow's strategic management
framework to the performance of public agencies. Miles and Snow developed several strategy types,
arguing that prospectors (searching for new approaches) and defenders (sticking with the existing
pattern of services) are aligned with processes, structures, and the environment in ways that lead them
to outperform reactors (awaiting for instructions from the environment), which have no consistent
strategy or alignment. Six key lessons for the practice of strategic management in public organizations
are provided based on a critical review. Findings point toward the importance of employing a mix of
strategies in public organizations, contrary to Miles and Snow—a strong evidence base for the
association between prospecting and defending and performance and for relationships between
strategy types and processes and structures. However, no empirical evidence is provided for alignment
across strategy, structure, process, and the environment. The findings, largely derived from the United
Kingdom and United States, suggest that the most successful strategy recipe depends on the
ingredients, and thus managers must pay attention to the connections between the outlined
contingencies to generate the best results using the adopted strategy.
Strategic management is an area of academic inquiry and organizational practice that examines the
relationships between strategic aims, processes, and content, typically using a contingency framework,
which posits that successful organizations adapt to their environment in the pursuit of higher
performance (Donaldson [ 32] ; Thompson [ 68] ). A body of theoretical and empirical work has now
been undertaken on strategic management in public organizations to examine questions of aims (Moore
[ 48] ; Poister and Streib [ 54] ), strategic processes (Berry [ 13] ; Bryson [ 20] ; Moore [ 48] ), strategy
content (Boyne and Walker [ 16] ; Joldersma and Winter [ 40] ), and relationships with internal
management practices and the external environment (Boschken [ 14] ; Greenwood [ 36] ; Lane and
Wallis [ 41] ). However, studies examining the consequences of strategy for performance are more
recent (Johansen [ 39] ; Naranjo‐Gil [ 49] ).
Strategic management has become more important in public organizations because increased emphasis
has been placed on attaining higher levels of performance (Poister, Pitts, and Edwards [ 53] ). A focus on
goals, planning processes, and innovation sits at the heart of the reforms associated with the New Public
Management, while citizen expectations of public services continue to grow, requiring more strategic
responses to meet those needs (Pollitt and Bouckaert 2012; Walker, Boyne and Brewer 2010). The
literature offers a number of theoretical strategic management frameworks (see, e.g., Mintzberg,
Ahlstrand, and Lampel [ 47] ). This review integrates the quantitative research evidence that applies
Miles and Snow's ([ 45] ) strategic management typologies to public agencies.[ 1] Miles and Snow's
framework is examined because it is both comprehensive—examining aims, strategy content, processes,
structure, context, and their relationship to organizational performance—and generic. This article
identifies six key lessons gathered from the research on the practice of strategic management in public
organizations, based on the effectiveness of strategy choices and the alignment of strategy with
environmental conditions and internal processes and structures.
This article identifies six key lessons gathered from the research on the practice of strategic
management in public organizations, based on the effectiveness of strategy choices and the alignment
of strategy with environmental conditions and internal processes and structures.
Strategic Management and Public Organizations
A number of strategic management frameworks have been developed for public organizations (e.g.,
Stevens and McGowen [ 66] ; Wechsler and Backoff [ 73] ). Boyne and Walker ([ 16] ) argue that many of
these conflate aspects of strategy—aims, processes, and content (e.g., Nutt and Backoff [ 50] ; Rubin [
61] )—suggesting that the generic framework offered by Miles and Snow is suited, with some
adaptation, to public organizations. Specifically, it is important to distinguish between aims, strategy
content, and strategy processes, not least so that the theoretical and empirical connections between
them can be explored.
Miles and Snow's generic typology was developed from detailed case study work in a number of
business sectors, including nonprofit hospitals. The majority of the empirical tests used to assess this
widely examined framework have been conducted in private firms (Ramos‐Rodríguez and Ruíz‐Navarro [
58] ; Zahra and Pearce 1990). While political authority extends across private organizations, political
institutions and oversight bodies set the goals and objectives of public organizations much more directly
(Bozeman [ 18] ; Rainey [ 57] ). This is an important characteristic of public sector strategic management
because it determines the powers and responsibilities of public organizations. The nature of public
organizations’ aims is largely exogenous, as they are typically determined by legislation and by the
desires of the political priorities of the government of the day. Any assessment of the influence of
strategy content and processes must take account of this.[ 2]
Miles and Snow
The strategic archetypes of defender, prospector, analyzer, and reactor are perhaps the best‐known
aspects of the Miles and Snow framework. These strategy types are a summary or shorthand of the
ways in which organizations coalign with their environments and respond to the three major adaptive
cycle problems and solutions: entrepreneurial, engineering, and administrative (see table [NaN] ).
Solutions to the entrepreneurial problems—definition of the service domain—and the engineering
problems—technological and processes to resolve entrepreneurial problems—constitute an
organization's strategy content, that is, the ways in which the organization seeks to achieve the
objectives that have been selected (or selected for it). Solutions to the administrative problems
(organizational structure, policy, and process) are complex; they require managers to establish
structures and processes that rationalize the strategic decisions that have already been made (lagging)
while considering how such processes and structures may affect the future capacity to adapt to
changing circumstances (leading). Mature organizations address and resolve these problems
simultaneously, although table [NaN] organizes them sequentially for ease of presentation.
Miles and Snow note that the typology “specifies relationships among strategy, structure, and process to
the point where entire organizations can be portrayed as integrated wholes in dynamic interaction with
their environments” (1978, 30). Effective organizations resolve the entrepreneurial, engineering, and
administrative problems and achieve successful alignment, or strategic fit, of strategy, structure,
process, and environment (see table [NaN] in for defenders, prospectors, and reactors). However, not
every strategy type is associated with effectiveness. Miles and Snow propose that alignment is achieved
successfully for defenders, prospectors, and analyzers, whereas reactors lack alignment and
consequently exhibit poorer performance. The relationships between strategy, structure, process, and
environment reflect those sketched out in contingency theory (Lawrence and Lorsch 1967; Scott [ 63] ;
Thompson [ 68] ).
Strategy content, or strategic stance, relates to a series of questions about how an organization
responds to the problems and solutions (entrepreneurial) generated by its domain and services and by
the technologies and processes that it uses (engineering). Does an organization actively seek new
opportunities to apply innovations to existing services and opportunities? Does it respond to changing
organizational contexts? Is it proactive and future orientated? Miles and Snow describe this type of
organization as a prospector. Does an organization concentrate its efforts on procedures rather than
products, seeking to maintain a stable portfolio of services that are delivered reliably and at low cost?
Does it adopt tried and tested innovations? Is it focused on core business and efficiency? Miles and
Snow characterize such organizations as defenders. Does an organization watch others for new ideas?
Does it try to quickly adopt practices that appear to be the most hopeful? Is it seeking risk‐adjusted
efficiency? This type is referred to as an analyzer, a hybrid strategy between a defender and a
prospector. Does an organization see change and uncertainty in the environment but does not have a
consistent and coherent strategy? Is action only taken when instructed by powerful actors in its
environment, such as higher levels of government or regulatory agencies? Miles and Snow describe such
organizations as reactors.
Miles and Snow sketch the relationships between strategy, process, and structure, arguing that
organizations adopt the strategy that is best suited to their circumstances. Prospectors adopt “logical
incremental” approaches (Quinn [ 56] ) to strategy formulation, implementation, and decentralized
structures, which permit quick responses to changing environmental conditions. The preferred strategy
process of a prospector comprises hunches, intuition, and a reliance on the push and pull of
organizational politics (Elbanna [ 33] ; Quinn [ 56] ). Defenders use “rational” processes (Elbanna [ 33] )
and centralized structures to achieve higher performance. Defenders undertake a lot of formal planning,
collecting and analyzing large amounts of data on service needs, evaluating the options for meeting
those needs, and using sophisticated techniques to weigh the costs and benefits of each option (Bryson,
Berry, and Yang [ 21] ; Elbanna [ 33] ; Mintzberg [ 46] ). They adopt a centralized structure to maintain
control over efficient services that focus on core business or service goals. Analyzers adopt intermediate
structures and processes that depend on the emphasis on proactive or conservative strategy. Reacting is
characterized by an absence of strategy, along with inconsistent structures and processes. The inability
to solve the entrepreneurial and engineering problems leads to the misalignment of administrative
problems and solutions, which results in poor performance.
Regarding responses to the environment, Miles and Snow build on contingency theory, claiming that an
organic structure is required in an uncertain environment, whereas a mechanistic structure is preferable
in a predictable and stable environment (Burns and Stalker [ 22] ; Lawrence and Lorsch [ 42] ). This
implies that a prospecting strategy should work best in an uncertain environment. Defending, by
contrast, should be an especially effective strategy in the presence of environmental certainty. Miles
and Snow's arguments suggest that reacting is not consistently linked to any specific set of external
circumstances. However, while reactors “do not possess a set of mechanisms that allows them to
respond consistently to their environments over time” (Miles and Snow [ 45] , 93), a dynamic and
unpredictable environment may lead such organizations to seek cues from other external actors about
the best way to respond to these circumstances.
Integrating Empirical Evidence of Strategy and Performance
The empirical literature on Miles and Snow was located using Google Scholar. The search terms used
included “Miles and Snow” AND “performance,” “effectiveness,” “efficiency,” “consequences,” AND
“public” (and derivatives thereof). The search terms were kept broad so as not to omit studies. Peer‐
reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters were selected as the unit of analysis because they
have been subject to review prior to publication and therefore should meet the basic requirements of
theoretical and methodological rigor. Once publications were identified using these terms, they were
examined in further detail, and only studies that included public organizations as the unit of analysis,
Miles and Snow, and organizational performance were included. Publications were excluded if, for
example, they were not empirical, performance was not the dependent variable, they contained partial
statistical data, case studies were presented, or they were conceptual pieces. Careful reading of the
articles led to a final sample of 25 empirical studies that contained full tables of statistical results.[ 3]
Miles and Snow sketch the relationships between strategy, process, and structure, arguing that
organizations adopt the strategy that is best suited to their circumstances.
The support score method was used to integrate the results of the empirical evidence because the
majority of studies reported multiple regression techniques rather than correlations (Boyne [ 15] ;
Damanpour [ 27] ).[ 4] The support score method is based on the percentage of statistical tests that
support the hypothesis, which states that strategy content and alignment on other variables results in
higher levels of performance. To count as support, results must be in the direction predicted by Miles
and Snow (prospectors and defenders are positively associated with performance, whereas reactors
have no performance effect),[ 5] and the results must be statistically significant, that is, greater than
would be likely to arise by chance alone (p < .05). If these criteria are applied to all of the tests in a single
study, then a support score can be calculated as a percentage of all of the tests reported in the study
(which ranged from 1 to 66 in the publications reviewed).
An aggregate support score can be calculated across all of the studies in at least two ways (Boyne [ 15] ;
Rosenthal [ 60] ). First, the support score for each study can be treated equally, regardless of whether it
contains 1 or 300 tests. Second, each study can be weighted (multiplied) by the number of tests in that
study so that an equal weight is attached to each test rather than to each study. The weighted mean has
the advantage: studies that report only a small number of tests do not have a disproportionate influence
on the analysis. The advantage of the unweighted mean is that studies that conduct a large number of
tests on the same data set are not given undue importance. The real level of support probably lies
somewhere between the unweighted and weighted figures. As a result, the following decision rule was
implemented: to determine strong support, both support scores should be greater than 50 percent,
partial support is signaled when either the weighted or unweighted score is more than 50 percent, and
no support is offered when the scores fall below 50 percent (Boyne [ 15] ; Damanpour [ 27] ).
Characteristics of the Studies
Table [NaN] presents the characteristics of the Miles and Snow studies in public settings. The studies
were all conducted over a 25‐year period; only one study was published in the 1980s, three in the 1990s
15 in the 2000s, and six between 2010 and 2012. The United States (12 studies) and United Kingdom (11
studies) dominate the sample, with one study each from China and Spain. Non‐U.S. studies reported
much higher support scores (73 percent and 76 percent weighted and unweighted, respectively) than
studies based in the United States (43 percent and 50 percent weighted and unweighted, respectively).
The studies captured a range of public services: 11 studies examined local governments (all in the United
Kingdom), while four U.S. school districts were examined, along with seven hospitals and nursing
facilities, leaving one study each based in higher education and state‐owned enterprises.
Characteristics of Studies and Support Scores
Study Sample Unit of Analysis Country M&S IV DV Analysis Data Support Scores
No tests + Ns –
Zahra (75) 68 H U.S. SC P p χ2 CS 28 39 14
Young, Beekun, and Ginn (74) 370 H U.S. SC & ST P a β CS 4
50 0 50
Brock (19) 95 HE U.S. SC & P S‐C p χ2 CS 2 0 100
Abernethy and Brownell (1) 63 H U.S. SC & P P p β CS 1
100 0 0
Davies et al. (28) 308 N U.S. SC, SC & ST S p β CS 3
67 33 0
Cunningham (25) 172 Uni U.S. SC P a M CS 9 56
Short, Palmer, and Ketchen (64) 85 H U.S. SC S a β L 6
33 50 17
Tan (67) 56 SOE China SC S p β CS 3 100 0
Castle (23) 416 N U.S. SC P a β CS 20 85 15
Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker (2005) 80 LG U.K. SC S a/p β
L 9 67 33 0
Andrews, Boyne, and Walker (12) 119 LG U.K. SC S a/p β L
3 67 33 0
Johansen (39) 3,657 SD U.S. SC, SC & P S a β P 6 67
Meier et al. 44 3,041 SD U.S. SC S a β P 30 20 57
Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker (2008) 51 LG U.K. SC, SC & EN S a
β L 12 75 25 0
Enticott and Walker (34) 72 LG U.K. SC S a/p β CS & L 6
67 33 0
Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker (2009a) 47 LG U.K. SC, SC & ST S a
β L 6 83 17 0
Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker (2009b) 90 LG U.K. SC & P S a β
L 3 100 0 0
Naranjo‐Gil (49) 112 H Spain SC & P P‐S a β CS 4 50 50
Walker and Brewer (72) 135 LG U.K. SC & ST S a/p β CS & L 6 100
Meier et al. (43) 3,041 SD U.S. SC, SC & EN, SC & ST S a β P 66
39 29 32
Walker et al. (2010) 101 LG U.K. SC S a/p β L 12 50
Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker (2011) 40 LG U.K. SC, SC & P S a
β L 3 100 0 0
Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker (2012) 58 LG U.K. SC, SC & P, SC & EN S
a β L 12 50 42 8
Andrews, Boyne, Meier et al. (2012) 178 LG U.K. SC S a/p β P
30 80 0 20
Owens and Kukla‐Acevedo (51) 2,490 SD U.S. SC & EN S a β P 13
38 62 0
Total number of studies 25
Total number of tests 297
Unweighted support score 63 25 11
Weighted support score 54 27 20
2 Unit of analysis: H = hospital, HE = higher education, LG = local government, N = nursing homes,
SD = school district, SOE = state‐owned enterprise, U = university.
3 M&S: SC = strategy content, ST = structure, P = processes, EN = environment.
4 IV, independent variable: P = paragraph, S‐C = scale converted to categorical data, S = scale, P‐
S = paragraph with scale.
5 DV, dependent variable: p = perceptual (survey), a = archival (secondary data).
6 Analysis: M = MANOVA, χ2 = non parametric, r = correlation, β = regression.
7 Data: CS = cross‐section, P = panel, L = lagged.
The average sample size is 598; however, a small number of studies with large samples right‐skewed the
distribution. The median sample size is 101, which would appear to have limited influence on the
results. Those with a sample below the median offer a weighted support score of 58 percent (68 percent
unweighted), whereas those with a sample above the median offer a 52 percent weighted support score
(59 percent unweighted). The studies employed a mix of research designs, but the effect of this on the
resultant support scores is not particularly marked. The cross‐sectional and lagged or panel studies
reported weighted support scores of 60 percent and 52 percent, respectively, and unweighted scores of
Sample size and data structure do not appear to unduly influence the support score. However, there are
a number of other research design issues that need to be borne in mind when interpreting the findings
presented here. Many of the designs do not address questions about the ways in which performance
affects strategy. The possibility for reverse causality is only examined in a small number of studies that
use a prior‐performance variable to control for the impact of performance over time (see, e.g., Andrews,
Boyne, Meier et al. 2012; Walker et al. 2010). Relatedly, none of the studies controls for the
characteristics of organizations that might influence strategy content (i.e., do the aims given to some
public organizations make them tend toward a particular strategy?). Finally, the focus of the studies is
predominantly on two countries, the United Kingdom and United States, raising concerns about
Support for Miles and Snow?
The support score for the studies examining Miles and Snow's influence on the performance of public
service organizations is reported in table [NaN] , covering the range of permutations for the Miles and
Snow model implemented in these publications; the overall support score is strong, with weighted and
unweighted scores greater than 50 percent (54 percent and 63 percent, respectively). These positive
scores from a range of studies in varying settings indicate that the framework has veracity in public
While the overall support score is strong, table [NaN] indicates somewhat uneven coverage of the Miles
and Snow framework. A fully specified model testing the archetypes would simultaneously examine the
relationships among strategy, structure, process, environment, and performance. An examination of
these connections would require a four‐way interaction in a regression model or the use of alternative
estimation techniques such as structural equation models. One study moved toward modeling the
framework by examining strategy, structure, and environment and their performance consequences in a
large data set of Texas school districts (Meier et al. [ 43] ). Twelve studies examined the bivariate
associations between strategy and internal variables, and four others explored such associations
between strategy and the environment. However, the largest number of studies, 17, analyzed the direct
relationships between strategy content and performance.
Strategy Content and Performance
Finding 1: A mix of strategies matters
Miles and Snow propose that organizations adopt a single strategic archetype as prospectors, defenders,
analyzers, or reactors. This produces categorical measurement—an organization can only be a defender
or a prospector. A “paragraphing” approach that described the strategic archetype was widely used for
measurement in early work (e.g., Snow and Hambrick [ 65] ; Greenwood [ 36] in the public sector). This
was later adapted to scales with decision rules to identify a single approach (Conant, Mokwa, and
Varadarajan [ 24] ; DeSarbo et al. [ 30] ). Table [NaN] suggests a somewhat different approach in public
sector studies, with five studies adopting categorical measurement and the balance using scales that
allow strategies to vary within organizations. Table [NaN] provides illustrations of these differing
approaches to measurement, with examples from defenders and prospectors.
Illustrations of Approaches to Measurement
The paragraphing or categorical approach
Respondents are asked select one of four descriptions strategy type descriptions. The following are
taken from Greenwood (36, 310–11):
TYPE A. This type of local authority prefers stability to experimentation and innovation. It concentrates
resources upon statutorily prescribed services and makes a deliberate effort to provide stability in their
provision. Established and understood ways of working are preferred. A central concern is to make the
local authority more efficient. (D)
TYPE C. This type of local authority actively seeks new opportunities and challenges. New kinds of
services and new ways of working are vigorously sought and implemented. The local authority values
being “first in” on service developments and ways of working, even though some experiments will be
unsuccessful. Continual innovation and experimentation are preferred to stability. (P)
Multi‐item scales used to create categories
Multi‐item scales are used that capture the four strategy types within the entrepreneurial, engineering,
and administrative problems. The following is an example of questions from the administrative problem
from Conant, Mokwa, and Varadarajan (1990, 381–82); respondents choose one option.
In comparison to other HMOs, the structure of my organization is:
Functional in nature (i.e. organized by department—marketing, accounting, personnel etc.) (D)
Service or market orientated (i.e., departments like pediatrics or Ob/Gyn have marketing or
accountability responsibilities). (P)
Primarily functional (departmental) in nature; however, a service‐ or market‐orientated structure does
exist in newer or larger services offering areas. (A)
Continually changing to enable us to meet opportunities and solve problems as they arise. (R)
Scales allowing strategy to vary
Multi‐item scales are used to capture the three strategy types and respondents reply on Likert scales
(questions from Andrews, Boyne, Law, and Walker 2012, 62).
We continually redefine our service priorities. (P)
We seek to be first to identify new modes of delivery. (P)
Search for new opportunities is a major part of our overall strategy. (P)
We seek to maintain stable service priorities. (D)
The service emphasizes efficiency of provision. (D)
We focus on our core activities. (D)
8 Key: (A) = analyzer, (D) = defender, (P) = prospector, (R) = reactor.
Boyne and Walker argue the case for mixed strategies, as outlined in the lower third of table [NaN] .
They suggest that organizations pursue a range of strategies because they are not “a ‘cat,’ a ‘fish’ or a
‘dog’ … strategies are not like species of animals because they can be mixed and combined” (2004, 235).
Analyzers share characteristics with prospectors and defenders, and they are rarely “first movers,” but
rather “watch their competitors closely for new ideas, and … rapidly adopt those which appear to be
most promising” (Miles and Snow [ 45] , 29). The analyzer category is recognized as a hybrid between
defending and prospecting (Miles and Snow [ 45] ; Tan [ 67] ). If organizations adopt a single strategic
stance, then it is necessary to include the analyzer category. However, if strategy is seen to vary,
organizations that display both prospecting and defending characteristics possess the features of an
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