A co-author of mine, Jennifer Lees-Marshment, is a world expert on political marketing, (crudely put winning elections). In recent years she has turned her attention to improving political management. E.g., what politicians and their staffs have to do after they have won. Her new book, Political Management, is the result of years of painstaking work but it has been worth it.
Managing Once In Power
I have some experience of the politics/governance interface from my work prior to academia and her central idea rings very true. Too little attention has been paid to the problem of how to manage once in power.
In many ways in this book she is establishing a new field. This means a lot of her work is documenting what is currently happening. This can be pretty scary but invaluable. A recurring point being that “political HR” is crucially lacking.
“Political HR is the area most in need of extensive research, such as to improve job analysis, job definitions, recruitment, selection, orientation, training and retention for political staffers and ministers, and identifying how to develop an effective work environment…”
Pretty much everything involving the management of people is poor.
Improving Political Management
Just because someone is a good political campaigner, or are very loyal, doesn’t mean that they also have the skills to help run a government. Those who are managing in government certainly need political skills to help ensure the policies people voted for actually happen.
Jennifer Lees-Marshment has delivered an ambitious book. It is filled with detail about the emerging field of political management; why not give it a read?
For the work that Jennifer and I did with Aimee Huff on management of stakeholders when in government see here.
Read: Jennifer Lees-Marshment (2020) Political Management:The Dance of Government and Politics, Routledge