Strategic Philosophy and Competitive Advantage: Conceptual Understanding and Application in Public Sector Organisations
All organizations deal with strategy, but organizations operate under different conditions, affecting their understanding of how to do strategy. The study aims at providing an argument on how managers in public sector institutions apply the practice of strategic philosophy in their quest for effective practice of strategic management. Strategy is vital for a competitiveness, effective and efficient public service delivery and for successful leadership. Strategic philosophy refers to a set of beliefs, personal views or rules concerning the nature of organizational strategy. Managers apply these beliefs, values and rules to help make strategic decisions that provide direction, cohesion, mission and motivation to pursue organization’s strategic goals. The bureaucratic nature of public sector causes it to function according to unique set of principles, norms and rules. These rules and principles are influenced by the political nature of the institutions with little autonomy and /or discretion to decide on priorities, set own goals and deal with challenges and problems in order to exploit any emerging opportunities. This article used systematic literature review to identify studies that discussed the concepts of strategic philosophy and competitive advantage. Two focus groups discussions were also held with managers from public sector and civil society organizations. Since previous studies have been treating these concepts separately, articles dealing with each aspect of the study were reviewed and analysed to establish if any relationship exists between the two concepts. The study found out that the position occupied by a manager in the organization, skills and experience determine how he/she conceptualises the whole process of strategic planning. Senior managers believe that their role involves crafting the mission, vision, values, strategic goals and providing direction of the enterprise. They also determine the strategies that are likely to create superior performance.