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Strategic Management in the South African Police Service: An Examination of Management Preparedness (From Policing in Central and Eastern Europe: Dilemmas of Contemporary Criminal Justice, P 270-284, 2004, Gorazd Mesko, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-207973)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2004
15 pages

As part of a larger project to develop a strategic management model for the South African Police Service (SAPS), this study involved a self-evaluation by workshop participants regarding SAPS' management capacity to perform strategic management.


An organization's strategy is the process by which it uses certain policies, procedures, and resources to achieve organizational objectives. "Strategic management," as defined by David (2001), is "the art and science of the organization in formulating, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable it to achieve its objectives." SAPS management personnel must do continuous planning in a changing environment in order to develop and implement a plan that will meet the changing needs of the various communities within the Republic of South Africa. This paper discusses the levels of strategic management, the managerial tasks of strategic management, the strategic management process, and strategy evaluation and control. This paper also includes a report on qualitative data obtained during a 3-day strategic planning workshop conducted for senior management in the Free State Provincial Head Office of the SAPS in November 2001. Workshop participants assessed internal strengths and weaknesses of the organization in relation to external environmental opportunities and threats, which is a main activity of the strategic planning process. This paper focuses on the internal analysis of organizational human resources and limitations that influence the implementation of strategic planning in the Free State Province. The managers identified a number of personal limitations related to competency. These included a lack of skill in costing a plan, a lack of uniform understanding of strategic planning, differing interpretations of strategic-planning terminology, and a low level of preparatory training in strategic-planning skills and implementation. The paper also notes that it is important for organizations to ensure an ongoing process that prepares managers to design and implement training in strategic management and planning. 26 references

Date Published: September 1, 2004