Political Management

… a core concept in Implementation and Delivery and Atlas107

Concept description

In his book, Creating Public Value, Mark Moore (reference below) describes political management as “the part of strategic management that is concerned with managing upward, toward politics.” (p. 23)

He writes:

“Strategic management in the public sector begins by looking up toward politics. By politics, I mean not only the current expectations and aspirations of citizens and their representatives but also the older political agreements formally enshrined in the legislation that defines public managers’ mandates for action.

“Politics, and the laws that politics produce, deserve this pride of place for three key reasons. First, it is this realm that managers must search to cover what purposes are deemed publicly valuable and can, therefore, practically and normatively sustained as the focus of their managerial efforts. It is in and through politics that they can discover and help shape their mandates for action. Second, political institutions grant public managers the resources they need to accomplish their operational purposes – including money and authority over their own organizations and over those beyond their organizations who can contribute to the managers’ purposes. Third, it is to politics and law that public managers are theoretically and practically accountable; their performance is graded and their reputations made within this realm.” (p. 105)

He describes political management as involving four elements:

“building (1) a climate of tolerance, active support, or ongoing operational assistance for (2) a manager, a policy, or an overall strategy among (3) those outside the scope of an official’s direct authority whose (4) authorizations or operational assistance are necessary to achieve the public purposes for which the official will be held accountable.” (p. 113)

And summarizes:

“In short, political management shapes mandates for action and invests them with the political support and legitimacy that managers need to direct operations and achieve the mandated purposes.” (p. 113)


Mark H. Moore (1995), Creating Public Value – Strategic Management in Government, Harvard University Press.

Atlas topic and subject

Strategic Management in the Public Sector (core topic) in Implementation and Delivery and Atlas107

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 19 September 2017.

Image: Mark H. Moore (1995), Creating Public Value – Strategic Management in Government, Harvard University Press, at https://www.amazon.ca/Creating-Public-Value-Management-Government/dp/0674175581/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1507836695&sr=8-1&keywords=mark+moore+creating+public+value, accessed 12 October 2017.