Order 831552: Strategic performance management

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Charles E Lindblom, a Sterling Professor Emeritus in Political Science and Economics at Yale University, was 100 years of age in 2017. In 1959 he published an article in the Public Administration Review called ‘The Science of Muddling Through’. Lindblom’s article referred to two alternative approaches to decision making by executives (the ‘root’ and the ‘branch’) and has been widely cited in articles and books on strategic management ever since. Lindblom compares the two approaches when an executive decision maker is faced with complex problems affecting a corporation’s strategy. Lindblom postulated that the assumption that executives use the root approach, which takes a rational and comprehensive analysis of internal and external factors before taking a decision (favoured by much of the academic literature and strategic performance management tools), is ‘absurd’ given that there are ‘intellectual capacities and sources of information that men simply do not possess.’

In today’s environment most industries are faced with significant change in technological, regulatory and political external factors all potentially impacting on strategic decisionmaking and performance management. Lindblom’s analysis that a ‘branch’ approach which involves taking successive limited comparisons building out from the current position rather that fundamentally re-assessing complexities from the root up provides a reflection point on whether the theoretical models are applied in practice given today’s increasingly complex external environment.


With reference to Lindblom’s article critically assess key developments in the last 50 years of frameworks and models of strategic performance management aimed at closing the gap between theory and practice and whether there is sufficient evidence to suggest theory and practice in relation to strategic performance management are aligned.


This is a research piece and will therefore require you to investigate, in some detail, whether Linblom’s work has any lasting value given the nature of changes in both the theory of and practice of strategic performance management since the work was first published. In particular a review of articles reporting the theory and practice in the application of strategic performance management is required.

Original article reference

The Science of “Muddling Through” Author(s): Charles E. Lindblom Source: Public Administration Review, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Spring, 1959), pp. 79-88 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration

The course work is to be written in the “style” of an academic journal article and must be referenced accordingly.

One of the main aims of the course work is to develop your research skills. I expect to see evidence of extensive reading about and around the subject, from sources including ALL of the following:  Peer Reviewed Academic journals;  Text books; and  Internet sources.

Marks will be awarded for content, evidence of research, presentation and insight into the area under investigation.

The word count is 3,000 words. This is to be strictly adhered to and marks will be deducted accordingly if you go under or over the stated limit.

Presentation is important when undertaking academic writing. I expect you to write and present this work in a professional manner

Coursework Guidelines 

This coursework should be word-processed: – in a clear font (Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman) – in 12 point size font – using double spacing – using 2.54cm (1 inch) margins.

 Number the pages of your text in the bottom right hand corner of each page.

 Pay careful attention to the requirements with regard to references and bibliography.

 Do not use endnotes or footnotes.

 Do not exceed the word count, as there are penalties for doing so (please refer to the Coursework brief for details). The title page does not count towards the final word count.

 You may add a contents page if you wish (will not be used towards the final word count).

 Subheadings are allowed if necessary (they will be included within the word count)

 All wording should be in black.

 The main body of your text should be followed in all cases by a bibliography/list of references, giving precise details of all the sources (printed, electronic, and other) that you have consulted

 Submit your work in Word.doc format – do not use PDF and do not insert any paragraphs or sentences in jpeg format.

 Graphs may be used. The graph image (jpeg) is excluded from the word count. However, any description or analysis will be included in the word count and should not be in jpeg format. Below is an example of a graph where words used will not go towards the final word cou


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