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Governments and effectiveness


The research program's ambition is to contribute significantly to a quantum improvement in government effectiveness and efficiency in addressing complex and evolving societal issues, and helping countries(1) adjust strategically to an interdependent globalized world. This is fundamental to our future.

It builds on the successful extension of the strategic agility governance model from private sector organizations to national governments and countries , and an initial conceptual development presented in a seminar of senior public policy makers, at the OECD in November 2011(2) .

This month, Professor Doz led the INSEAD delegation along with senior researcher Laurent de Clara at the OECD 46th Session of the Public Governance Committee in Paris (November 2012). Professor Doz was joined by Dr. Kosonen who led a delegation from Sitra (the Finnish Innovation Fund).

The on-going work focuses on four related areas:

  • How to make trade-offs between the longer-term developmental role of the state and shorter-term priorities and constraints, and between a more strategic state and a more reactive tactical one. How can strategic agility, transcending these trade-offs, be achieved?
  •  How to build and operate a "joined-up" unitary state administration? How to foster interdepartmental collaboration and integration? How to lead "transversal" issues where multiple departments have to contribute (e.g. health, juvenile development [vs. delinquency], sustainable and environmental protection, etc.) and time lags between action and measurable results can be quite long?
  • How to achieve administrative efficiency and effectiveness and find new ways and mechanisms for citizens' involvement, in the age of social networks, and internet-based campaigns? Rather than foster disruption and discontinuities, can the power of the net be harnessed to make governments more sensitive to the true needs and priorities of their citizens?
  • How can states not only adjust to globalization and the new knowledge economy, but how can they lead their own transition?

The research approach is a comparative analysis of the governance and leadership approaches adopted by various states that attempt to achieve strategic agility at the national level. Conceptually, the core idea is to fill the void between policy making and policy implementation by bringing testing, and extending concepts and theories borrowed from leadership and change management in major related diversified corporations.Professor Doz is participating in a "Governments for the Future" research group, with senior government officials from Austria, England, Finland, Scotland and Sweden. He will be the project leader in 2013 for the integration of the various country studies.

Professor Doz and Laurent de Clara are currently doing a pilot process study of the transformation and development of the Scottish government since devolution in 1999, with the collaboration of the Scottish Government and its former Permanent Secretary, Sir John Elvidge. He has led actions that are very close, in spirit and form, to our framework of Strategic agility renewal (Cognition, Organization, Relationships, Emotions). This study compares Scotland as a benchmark case to other countries that participate in the research, and to well-documented exemplars (e.g., Singapore).

Abstracts to the Scottish Government cases will be provided shortly






Laurent De Clara is Research Associate  in INSEAD’s Strategy Department currently exploring with Prof. Doz how public administrations can develop strategic agility to increase their responsiveness to help address their government’s long term strategic challenges. He is the author with Prof. Doz of ‘Strategic Agility in Nations: the Scottish Example’, the first in a series of case studies that examines how single government approaches, as developed by several OECD and non-OECD countries, have successfully built upon the strategic agility framework to help public administrations develop their own path towards a more strategically agile organization. He is the author of a dozen case studies on globalization, growth strategy and firm competitiveness developed for INSEAD's MBA and Executive Education programs. Laurent’s past experiences include research and consulting work for private companies and international organisations such as the European Commission, the Delegation of the European Commission to China and the OECD.

Click here to see Laurent’s full profile http://www.insead.edu/facultyresearch/faculty/profiles/ldeclara/



 (1) "Estonia: Towards a Single Government Approach", 2011, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing."OECD Economic Surveys: Finland 2012", February 2012, OECD Publishing.
(2°) OECD International workshop, 10 November 2011, Paris, "Strategic agility for strong societies and economies", Caroline Varley, Head of programme, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing.

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