Relationships between capabilities-strategy alignment and accountability-emphasis in government business enterprises

Cheaseth Seng


This study introduces a new research perspective to the investigation of factors affecting management’s attention to the rendering of their organisation’s managerial and public accountabilities. It draws on management studies of the fit between organisational strategy-types and capabilities and extends this literature to a new organisational context of government-owned business enterprises (GBEs) that act as fully competitive profit-making enterprises, but are made strongly accountable to the government minister, the parliament and the public.

Sets of capabilities-strategy alignments are modelled, including prospecting GBEs with technology strengths, defender GBEs with market-linking capabilities and analyser GBEs with a balance of capabilities. These sets are then assessed in terms of their consequences for the emphasis given by management to processes and systems for discharging the GBE’s accountability outcomes. Data is collected through a questionnaire to senior managers of 141 GBEs in Australia.

The findings are mostly consistent with prior studies conducted in private sector companies, even though strategy-capabilities alignments are related to accountability rather than financial performance. The findings provide insights to GBEs’ management and relevant government ministers concerning the continuing need to appropriately align strategies and capabilities of GBEs and the consequences of such alignment for the rendering of accountability.


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Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104


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