Vertical strategic alignment and public service performance

Rhys Andrews*, George A. Boyne, Kenneth J. Meier, Laurence J. O'Toole, Richard M. Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    We report the results of a study examining the effects of vertical strategic alignment (that is, the degree to which strategic stances are consistent across different organizational levels) on public service performance. Longitudinal multivariate analysis is undertaken on a panel of public organizations over four years. We find that alignment on a prospecting strategy leads to better performance, but that no such effect is observed for a defending strategy. We also find that high levels of prospecting alignment produce stronger positive performance effects in centralized organizations and when environmental uncertainty is high. The implications of these findings for research and practice are considered in the conclusion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-98
    Number of pages22
    JournalPublic Administration
    Issue number1
    Early online date17 Jun 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

    Bibliographical note

    This study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council grant ‘How public management matters’ (res-062-23-0039).


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