The Roles of Strategic Planning in Performance Improvement in Tanzania’s Public Organizations

Shafii Dini Kanju


Strategic planning was initially used by private organizations to improve their
competitive advantage in the market and achieve major improvements in efficiency. It
is considered as an essential managerial activity that enables a firm to align itself with
anticipated environmental changes. In Tanzania, there has been an increased use of
strategic planning as it is compulsory for public organizations. However, it is uncertain
whether strategic planning is viable for performance improvement. This paper examines
strategic planning in Tanzania’s public organizations. Using the University of Dar es
Salaam as a case study, it seeks to attest the extent to which strategic planning is effective
in public organizations. It employs qualitative analysis, and uses documentary review
and elite interviews as sources of data. The major finding shows that strategic planning
can be feasible in public organizations. However reliable availability of financial
resources is the biggest challenge in making strategic plans to work. Basing on the study
findings, the paper concludes that strategic planning is a viable path to performance
improvement as it helped the university to improve performance in its core mandate.
The paper recommends for disbursement of enough funds, and the university to
diversify sources to ensure financial sustainability.

Keywords: strategic planning; performance improvement; public organizations; Tanzania;
University of Dar es Salaam


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