Strategic Planning and service provision in Greek Local government: a comparative assessment

Main Article Content

Sifis Plimakis


This paper evaluates the impact of strategic planning on the performance of municipal services in Greece in lieu of the recent policy reforms. Improvement in public performance management has been the core tenet in the Greek Local Government Reform, now spanning over two decades. The recent “Kallikratis’’ reform program triggered significant structural re-organization across local government organizations in an attempt to address and resolve centralization and democratic deficit problems, but its impact on municipal services performance remained particularly limited Evidence confirmed marginal improvements in services efficiency and quality, but not substantial enough to inspire municipalities’ economic sustainability and citizens’ level of trust and satisfaction.

Performance and governance deficits  in municipal services provision, arising from the inherent restrictions of social capital in Greece, characterized by low rates of trust and collaboration, the Weberian characteristics of the hierarchal and centralized decision making in local government, the existence of multiple and overlapping levels and categories of audits and the failure to integrate innovative policy tools for better design and delivery of municipal services). These deficits reflected a lack of an effective national policy for the promotion of strategic management and performance measurement and the limited compliance of local government authorities with their tools and management models. Based on the combination qualitative and quantitative empirical data, this research thus, evaluates and analyzes the existence, perception, and impact of strategic management tools on municipal services performance, by focusing on 39 municipal authorities and 8 service sectors.

Article Details

How to Cite
Plimakis, S. (2018). Strategic Planning and service provision in Greek Local government: a comparative assessment. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 5(6).


(G: in Greek)

Bouckaert, G. & Pollitt, C. (2015). Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bouckaert G. & Schwab E. & Kulhmann S. (eds) (2017a) Local Public Sector Reforms in Times of Crisis, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 187 – 204, 237 - 251

Bouckaert G. & Kulhmann S.(eds) (2017b) The future of local government in Europe, Berlin: Nomos, pp. 57 – 68

Boyne G – Andrews R – Walker R, (2006), Strategy Content and Organizational Performance: An Empirical Analysis, Vol 66 (1)

Bovaird T – Loeffler E ed (2015), Public Management and Governance, Oxford University Press

Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations. San Franciso: Jossey-Bass.

Council of Europe (COE). (2011) local government in critical times, Council of Europe Press, pp. 16 – 27. 46 - 62

Council of European Municipalities and Regions, (CEMR), (2013),"Decentralization at crossroads: Territorial reforms in Europe in times of crisis

De Lancer Julnes, P. (2013). Citizen-Driven Performance Measurement: Opportunities For Evaluator Collaboration In Support of The New Governance. In Bohn

De Lancer Julnes, P. (2006). Performance Measurement: An Effective Tool for Government Accountability? The Debate Goes on. Evaluation 12 (2): 219-235

ΕΕΤΑΑ (2016), local government in numbers, EETAA publications (G).

Goderis B. (eds) ( 2015), Public Sector Achievement in 36 countries, The Netherlands Institute for Social Research, pp. 108 – 122, 243 – 254, pp. 89 - 107

Hlepas, N. (2013). Quality of Life and Local Governance, WP 5/21 SEARCH working paper.

Hlepas, N. (2015). Local Government in Greece. Papazisis Publications (G).

Holzer M – De Junlnes P (2001), Promoting the Utilization of Performance Measures in Public Organizations: An Empirical Study of Factors Affecting Adoption and Implementation, Public Administration review 61 (2)

Holzer M, (2004) Public Productivity Handbook, CRC Press

Holzer M, (2009), Literature Review and Analysis Related to Optimal Municipal Size and Efficiency

Holzer, M., Joyce, P., Bryson, J. (2014). Developments in Strategic and Public Management: Studies in the US and Europe. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

ITA - Institute for local development (2006), the role of local government in social services provision, ITA publications (G), pp. 24 - 42

ITA - Institute for local development (2017), a three year strategy for the reform of public administration and local government in Greece, ITA publications(G)., pp. 87 - 106

Karkatsoulis, P. (2004). State in Transition. Athens: Sideris Publications (G).

Karkatsoulis, P. (2011). Regulation, Deregulation and Regulation Athens: Sideris Publications (G)., pp. 48 – 72

Karkatsoulis P, (2018) Local Governance Reform in Greece, KEFIM press (G)

Maistros, P. (2017). The Reform of Public Administration in Greece. Athens: Papazisis Publications (G).

Makridimitris, A. & Mergos G, (2012), reforms in Greece, Academy of Athens Press (G)

OECD (2009), Strategic planning in Greece

OECD (2012a). Greece: Review of the Central Administration, pp.8 – 17, 46 – 61, 89 - 102

OECD (2012b). Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2012. Greece-Country Note, February 2012, pp. 8 - 17

OECD (2016). Government at a glance: Greece

Osborne, St. (ed.) (2008). The New Public Governance. London: Routledge, pp. 36 – 52, 125- 151, pp. 223 - 242

Papadimitriou, G. (2017). Local Government Reform in Greece: Past, Present and Prospects. Athens: I. Sideris (G).

Paraskevopoulos C. (2000), Social capital and public – private distinction in Greek Regions, Journal of European Public Poicy, 19(2), pp. 302 – 319

Poister T – Streib G (2005), Elements of strategic planning and management in municipal government: Status after two decades, Public Administration Review Vol 65 (1)

Rhodes, R. A. W. (1997) Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, Reflexivity and Accountability, London: Open University Press, pp. 48 – 67, pp 135 - 156

Spanou, C. & Sotiropoulos, D. (2011). The Odyssey of Administrative Reforms in Greece, 1981-2009: A Tale of Two Reform Paths, Public Administration, Vol. 89, Issue 3, pp. 723-737.

Wollmann H (eds), (2016), Public and Social Services in Europe: From Public and Municipal to Private Sector Provision, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 135 – 149, pp 313 – 336

World Bank, (2016), Greece Social Welfare Review, World Bank Press, pp. 34 - 72