EGPA location:Speyer, Germany date:10-12 September 2014
This paper assesses the influence of a new regulatory framework (approved in 2010) concerning strategic management in the Flemish municipalities. Particularly, the paper’s focus is on the impact of the introduction of the policy and management cycle on the management team’s (MT) role in the formulation, execution and evaluation of local policy. The empirical analysis is mainly based on two surveys performed in 2008 and 2013 among municipal secretaries. Statistical regression analysis suggests the varying implementation and use of this new regulatory framework has an important influence on the role MT’s play in the policy cycle. MT’s play a more important role in the municipal policy cycle when more policy goals are formulated. Also the involvement of the MT’s members in preparing the strategic multi-annual budgets is of importance. In sum, the added variables concerning strategic management in 2013 affords a model with far greater explanatory power. Furthermore, the MT’s role depends on the prevailing organizational culture: in municipalities where heads of department and the mayor and college of aldermen cooperate on equal basis and where the note of agreement between MT and college is considered more important, MT’s have more influence. By contrast, the municipal context variables have a far less explanatory power.