AuthorDemirkaya, Yuksel
  1. Introduction

    Through New Public Management (NPM) the administrative relationship between central and local government has been re-regulated in favor of democratization and localization in public administration. By means of regulations, it is emphasized that the strategic management techniques of the private sector must be utilized for citizen satisfaction exactly like customer satisfaction. It is observed that strategic planning became a primary obligation for public institutions through NPM reforms. In this process, which started with strategic planning, the aim is constructing a management culture, which will enable public institutions (especially municipalities) to be governed strategically for efficiency and accountability. This work will examine the success of NPM reforms in implementation by analyzing the strategic planning experiences of the Turkish public administration.

    Whereas strategies which are implemented successfully strengthen institutions and individuals, unsuccessful implementations cause power loss and even destruction for institutions. An efficient implementation of a correctly constituted strategy is essential for institutional success (A[section]gin, 2008, p. 16). For a sustainable institutional success, the main requirements are efficient implementation and institutional top to bottom association of a favorably constituted strategic plan.

    The outstanding value of strategic planning in terms of public performance management may be summarized as below:

    --stakeholder-oriented service and development of products;

    --emphasis of team spirit and employee participation;

    --using result-oriented performance measurements;

    --having a tendency to collect data and to analyze them; and

    --having efficient and sufficient resource management and distribution.

    In many countries in the world, some well-known private management tools like total quality management, strategic planning, strategic management, performance management, benchmarking and process management have been implemented in the public sector since the 1980s. The most extensively used method in the public administration is strategic planning.

    However, there are different approaches in the implementation of strategic planning across the world. For example, Songul (2011, p. 202) and A[section]gin (2008, p. 50) argued that in some countries, strategic planning is desired to improve the quality of public services and to ensure internal communication in public organizations, while many countries' understanding of strategic planning is usually to achieve desired goals and objectives as a means to ensure coordination. However in some countries like Turkey, strategic planning is considered to be a control mechanism of public expenditure in order to use resources more efficiently. Strategic planning in Turkey is perceived as having more budgetary control and financial control purposes. Actually, this perception of strategic planning might be caused by the regulation of Financial Management and Control Law (no. 5018), which introduced strategic planning as a legal obligation for public administration.

    Prominent countries who have applied strategic planning as a managerial innovative system could be listed as follows: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have been implementing various aspects of strategic planning. Strategic planning has been implemented by these countries depending of their state administrative structure and federal level, as well as central and local government levels (Ministry of Development, 2015).

    1.1. Hypotheses of Study

    H1: Obligatory strategic management/planning developed instruments to increase internal/external participation and accountability in public management.

    H2: Public awareness about the importance and necessity of strategic planning to be able to use public sources more efficiently and sufficiently has been rising.

    H3: Through rooting the culture of strategic planning, consciousness and awareness have been raising regarding corporate performance management in public institutions.

    1.2. Methodology

    In the comparable international perspectives New Public Management reform experiences have not been examined enough by researchers because of the absence of reliable data. It is always a big challenge to examine a different country's experiences (Kuhlmann and Wollmann, 2014, p. 4), because of language difficulties. This is why it is important to produce specific case studies of country experiences in the common world languages. This study intended to analyze the Turkish public sector strategic planning experiences, which shaped new public management reform regulations. To do this, all necessary legal regulations related to the topic will be examined and some considerable official reports on the process of strategic planning experiences will be analyzed as well. Finally, some prominent survey results on strategic planning experiences of public administration institutions will also be examined as a secondary data source. Secondary data is used in this study because much of the data needed has already been found out and published, and the degree of validity and reliability of other studies will not be re-examined in this study.

  2. The impacts of public management reform in Turkey

    Neo-liberal policies, globalization, privatization and transforming economic structure in Turkey started without delay in the early 1980s. For many, Turkey's economic transformation began since the mid-1980s, with an impact from the neoliberal doctrine. In Turkey, the economy was dominated by the direct intervention of state from 1920s until the 1980s (Okmen and Parlak, 2015, pp. 516-518). However, Turkey is one of the first countries in which the effects of neo-liberalism and the necessary structural arrangements have shown. In 1983-89 due to the actions of the Prime Minister Turgut Ozal, Turkey's economy has entered a rapid stage of liberalization. Parallel to this, the private sector became interested in the macroeconomic policies that have followed soon after. So the growth of the private sector through the privatization of economic production encouraged the decentralization of central authority and power to local or regional authorities (Demirkaya, 2006).

    Due to the sudden death of President Turgut Ozal on April 17, 1993, a political and economic crisis emerged as a result of the instability in economic growth, high inflation, rising budget deficits, government caused daily changes and short-term decision-making habits, budgeting deficit, financial control and external audit. Hence, the system could not work effectively as different issues appeared on the agenda. After these tough days, a large earthquake has occurred in Istanbul and around 18,000 people have died on August 19, 1999, which also caused huge economic losses. There was a serious public criticism against public institutions for their poor performance when tackling with the massive destruction of this earthquake. This was really an emotional breaking point and the beginning of the criticisms and questioning of the performance of the heavily cumbersome bureaucratic state structure. And finally, 2000 and 2001 economic crises had weakened the belief in the public management system and in responsible politicians. On November 3, 2002, the national election was a kind of political revenge/severe reaction of the public against the political parties forming the ruling coalition, which led them to stay below the threshold. This election brought in a new right-wing center party to power. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) used this 'great opportunity' to come to power alone. AKP was very successful in analyzing the reasons of the public anger and it was ready to challenge the heavy bureaucratic system. This is why they have launched a rapid reform process in the public administration's fundamental principles (Dinger and Yilmaz, 2003, p. 127): public participation, public orientation, transition to strategic management, performance-based, effectiveness monitoring, ethics and people trust, and the propriety in the provision of service.

    In this period, re-structuring was preferential on the political agenda in terms of a more participatory, more transparent, more accountable, fair and respectful of human rights and freedoms, effective and efficient public administration, as well as fast and high quality of public services. In this regard public institutions were required to use managerial tools to deal with civil society organizations and to recognize a wide range of individuals by putting them forward to the local and decentralized management structures by means of information technology, effective working, horizontal organizational structure and devolution, accountability, participatory strategic approaches to management, performance and quality based on adopting a structured approach (Ministry of...

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