Implementation is a key activity in the policy process in which a policy is given form and effect. While the central importance of public managers in policy implementation is widely recognized, the potential of public managers to improve policy outcomes is far from being fully realized. The repeatedly occurring inconsistencies between policy design and implementation suggest that much improvement can be made through creative and discerning effects by public managers. Policies decided in the political arena are often broad and vague, leaving crucial details to public officials to work out. Additionally, the fact that public managers are provided with mandates to carry out certain policies does not mean that resources needed for implementation and support from key stakeholders is guaranteed. To be effective, public managers need to develop expertise and acumen in networking, advocating and negotiating a set of functions that are often relatively unfamiliar to them if they have been trained in the classic mode of public administration focusing on hierarchical chains of accountability and responsibility to superiors and political executives.
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