Journal Article on Elements of strategic planning and management in municipal government

Journal Article Analysis


“Elements of strategic planning and management in municipal government: status after two decades” is a journal article authored by Theodore Poister and Gregory Streib. The element addressed how municipal governments that have population of above 25,000 people utilize the process of strategic planning and management (Poister & Streib, 2005). It aimed to find out how the process is used and the outcomes obtained from using the process. To find out the answer to their research question, the Authors carried out a research to obtain information from managers who were responsible for the use of strategic planning. The authors’ thesis was that the use of all-inclusive strategic management is simply beginning to expand in a few number of cutting edge municipalities


The authors started the article by addressing the history of strategic planning in the public sector. They looked at some of the literature that supports the local governments’ application of the strategic planning and they state that practicing professionals and academics have given the subject much attention hence the need to find more information about the application.

The authors have also looked at the supporting literature reviews as well as the opposing literature reviews to come up with the best approach of addressing the issue. This was important because it enabled Theodore and Streib to know how to approach and tackle the use of the strategic planning at the municipal level. The article also includes the methodology used in gathering information, the findings, discussion and conclusion.

Evaluation of the Article

The authors did their homework well and managed to come up with relevant literature reviews. The literature reviews give different perspectives to the readers. The literature reviews are critical and have discovered the good and the bad in strategic planning. However, most of the reviews used are old and only a few are current

They also used correct objectives that followed SMART rule. The objectives are clear and readers are able to identify what the authors looked for in their research. There is a clear rationale for carrying out the study. It is also clear that the findings of the research added to the evidence base. The use of survey methodology applied could be effective because it enable the authors to management their time well while also collecting all the necessary data (Poister & Streib, 2005). They used enough number of participants and the response number could be used to generalize the research population. This is a strong point on their part as it ensured reliability. The study method also enabled the authors to have sufficient detail that could be replicated.

All the elements covered during the research process were crucial and properly selected. This action by the authors was important and ensured that the research process was effective and useful to the authors and all others who might need to refer to it in future. The research design chosen by the authors allowed them to adequately address the research problem

The use of figures, graphs and pie-charts to analyze data was another strong point for the authors (Poister & Streib, 2005). Data analysis requires data translation in more than one form and they managed to achieve this aspect well in their article. Another strong point in the article is the authors’ ability to link the response from respondents to the research question. When reporting their findings, the author report indirectly what the respondents said to them. This makes the reporting very authentic and convincing to the reader. The authors have derived their conclusion from the findings of the research. The research questions of the research were best on the ten items covered in the survey. It is correct to state that the authors answered all their research questions.

In any research work, there the authors or the researchers must mention the challenges faced when carrying out the research. Theodore and Streib failed to include challenges that they faced during the research period (Poister & Streib, 2005). This makes it hard for the reader to identify what the authors had to go through in order to bring them such information. All concerned stakeholders who might want to carry more research in the same area would have nothing to identify concerning challenges that they might face.

The authors should have given areas that require further research. This is important because it would have provided hint to other researchers to know areas available for research work. The survey method used has been used in other research work but its validity and reliability in this case is not completely convincing.


The discussion has addressed the research problem and the conclusion could be interpreted from the findings of the research. However, the authors mixed findings and the discussion in the same sub-heading. This makes the results not clear to some readers who might have problems locating the results of the research work. For those who can trace the results, it seems appropriate and answers the hypotheses and the research problem from their conclusion, it seems there could be other interpretations for this research. The implications and the short-comings of the research work should have been highlighted.


Poister, T. H., & Streib, G. (2005). Elements of strategic planning and management in municipal government: Status after two decades. Public administration review, 65(1), 45-56.