Selection criteria of strategic goals for local governments

Selection criteria of strategic goals for local governments


Jarosław Ignacy, Tomasz Kopyscianski


Keywords: strategic management, strategic planning, strategic goals, municipality, local government management, local development strategy, local government


Summary: Aim: Local development strategy is a widespread and commonly used instrument in public management. Strategies are applied by municipalities to develop their full potential. A key factor in effective use of strategies for local development are criteria for selecting strategic goals. The article is an attempt to provide applicable selection criteria recommended for local authorities for selection of strategic goals.

Methods: Finding a solution to this crucial part of creating any local development strategy required a range of different exploratory methods and techniques. The research process was based on mixed (both qualitative and quantitative) research methods. Purposeful sampling was applied for choosing in-depth interviews.

Results: Despite the huge differences in the level of development of municipalities in the Lower Silesia they exhibit remarkable similarities in the ways of creating and selecting goals. The conducted research showed that the criteria applied were inconsistent and varying which was a crucial drawback from the viewpoint of strategic management. The lack of stable, objective criteria impaired an effective attainment of strategic goals which in result hampered the implementation of local development strategy.

Conclusions: The combination of results of literature review and advanced empirical research allowed to provide selection criteria applicable for selecting strategic goals. They should be considered as a starting point to create “good practices” regarded as general pattern solutions for local authorities.

Practical implications: Research results indicate a neglected area in the field of local development — municipalities are mainly unaware of the factors resulting in the dramatically low level of implementation of strategic plans. Identified problems require local governments to take actions to overcome them. Current solutions to selecting strategic goals are unsatisfactory. The criteria presented in this paper offer crucial applicable recommendations to help municipalities overcome diverse difficulties of selecting goals in local development strategies. The additional value is the fact that the application of suggested criteria does not require large financial input, and are likely to support public sector’s development efforts.



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