MORETOOLS: A Framework for Analyzing Management Dilemmas

Abstract

Leaders in the field of public or nonprofit service seek daily to find strategies for making a difference. Lacking an indicator for success such as profitability, a leader must establish goals and a means for achieving them. Developing a strategy for contributing a value added difference, and effective strategic decision making first requires an identification of potential risks and opportunities, an assessment of the political environment and interests of other actors, envisioning a realistic and desired outcome, and a clear set of objectives as a means for measuring success.

To that end, this comprehensive but simple MORETOOLS framework provides a practical and systematic approach for considering the crucial elements in any management or policy dilemma, and a means for creating a sensible strategy or plan for addressing the challenge or problem. The framework acknowledges that leadership tools and accountabilities exist on many different planes, and without a systematic approach, these crucial elements and opportunities may not be sufficiently considered. This framework provides a template for most key factors, helping to prioritize obligations, ethical considerations, assessing internal capabilities, conflicting or overlapping interests, political crosscurrents, as well as other significant pressures and influences. A user of this framework is obliged to fully analyze and integrate these factors in any decision making process aimed at making a difference as a leader.

The MORETOOLS framework integrates the application of concepts from many contributors to contemporary literature, Mark Moore, Robert Behn, Gordon Chase, Lee Bolman, Torrence Deal, Paul Light, Bryan Sanger, Ellen Schall, Dan Fenn, Richard Elmore, Steven Cohen and others' into practical and specific considerations and actions in a given scenario, and captures the essential ingredients to developing an effective strategy. Built on a foundation that integrates significant literature in the field, this framework seeks to span the domains of public policy analysis, political, management and organizational diagnosis, and conflict resolution principles bringing them together for practical and reflective practice. It provides a checklist and requires integrative analytic thinking, and with practice, students develop a habit of clear and comprehensive analysis. It is easy to teach, challenging to learn, and transformational in its affect on students.

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