Governing long-term policy problems: Dilemmas and strategies at a Dutch water authority

Wieke D. Pot*, Art Dewulf, Catrien J.A.M. Termeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Despite the increasing need to address long-term challenges, public sector organizations are incentivized to focus on short-term results. This article uses an ethnographic approach to analyse how members of a regional water authority understand and deal with long-term policy problems as part of their everyday practices. It reveals three specific dilemmas: investing in the realization of objects or objectives, adopting a stable or responsive approach, and taking a proactive or reactive stance towards the external environment. The concept of strategic agility enables organizations to respond proactively to unexpected developments by devising strategies to steer as well as to accommodate change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Management Review
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Ethnography
  • long-term governance
  • public sector
  • strategic agility
  • strategic planning

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