There are various themes found in the readings. These themes play a fundamental role in the management of both the private and public sector. One of the most important themes is fiscal management and budgeting in the public sector. The readings highlight that fiscal discipline is a key value in public finance management at the national and the local levels. Shah (2007) noted that because of the limited resources, overspending can result in chronically high deficits and increasing debts and tax burdens if the government is not fiscally restrained. From the readings, it is important for the public sector to avoid overspending and under-spending hence they should maintain budgeted and actual spending, revenue and borrowing at levels that are financially sustainable and compatible with short and long term economic objectives (Shah, 2007).
From the readings, Shah (2005) articulates that sound public sector management and government spending help determine the course of economic development and social equity. The readings provides tools to help assess governments fiscal health from the perspective of public accountability, including the fiscal politics of the budget, performance based budgeting, debt management, measuring government’s net worth, assessing fiscal risks and strengthening institutions of accountability (Shah, 2005).
Another major theme found in the study notes is fiscal management in non profit organizations and public sector. The readings foster incentive environments compatible with good fiscal management and efficient and equitable delivery of public services. Other themes under fiscal management in public sector seek to address issues such as fiscal prudence, fiscal stress, bureaucratic inefficiency, citizen empowerment and public integrity (Shah, 2005).
Monitoring and evaluation is another important theme found in the study notes. This factor in public sector provides the checks and balances of whether the government is keeping promises made or achieving results that are important for various users. Görgens-Albino, Gorgens & Kusek (2009) says that through monitoring and evaluation, key users in the society who are often left out of the information flow are citizens, NGO groups and the private sector, the point being that monitoring data has both internal and external uses.
In the study notes it can be noted that an evaluation system in the private sector allows for a more in-depth study of why results were achieved or not. According to Görgens-Albino, Gorgens & Kusek (2009), monitoring and evaluation in both public and private sector can address factors that are too difficult or expensive to continuously monitor and at the same time tackle the issue of why and how the terends being tracked with monitoring data are moving in the directions they are.
The study notes present a preferred approach to strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations, collaborations of various sorts and communities. In this context Bryson (2011) asserts that public and nonprofit strategic planning should be concerned with identifying and responding to the most fundamental issues facing an organization. From the readings it is clear that nonprofit organizations should attempt to be politically realistic by taking into account the concerns and preferences of internal and especially external stakeholders (Bryson, 2011).
Another important theme found in the readings is budgeting and funding in public and nonprofit organizations. The difference between budgeting in the nonprofit organizations and profit oriented organizations has been highlighted in the readings. The readings emphasize that in profit-oriented organizations output can be measured in terms of sales revenue. Budgets in nonprofit organizations tend to be mainly concerned with the input of resources, whereas budgets in profit organizations focus on the relationships between inputs and outputs.
Analysis and Critique of the Themes
The significance of this study is that it provides guidance for leaders of nonprofit organizations in developing and implementing a strategic plan that would help in improving operational conduct and member performance. Smith (2008) articulates that the themes have consistently revealed that vision, planning and goal setting have a positive effect on organizational performance.
The readings endeavored to focus on management of nonprofit organizations through strategic planning and fund managements through the appropriate quality assurance and performance plans. This was significant because it revealed how strategic planning relates to performance and other operational factors. The study provides valuable literature on strategic planning in nonprofit organizations. The major themes in the study notes allow for the retention of holistic and meaningful characteristics of the real-life events of both public and private sector and managerial processes (Smith, 2008).
The shortcomings of the study are that it focused on one strategy which is strategic planning. Its strength is that it focused on various elements of organizational culture such as management strategies, behaviors and values. In the entire study strategic planning was presented as a method that could aid nonprofit organizations in reaching their goals.
Leaders and managers of both public sector and nonprofit organizations must think, act and learn strategically now and in future if they are to meet their legal, ethical, professional, organizational and public service obligations successfully (Bryson & Alston, 2011). This means that taking a strategic planning approach is a must if these organizations are to compete, survive, proper and if real public value is to be created and the common goods is to be served.
From the reading it can be noted that strategic plans in nonprofit organizations like all other plans are based on working assumptions about what the future will be like. This means that the nonprofit organization thinking of the future as a kind of canvas chooses what to paint on it. Continuous quality improvement (CQI) not only helps integrate the revenue strategies necessary for sustainability into the strategic discussion, it also lays out a framework for making decision (Bell, Masaoka & Zimmerman, 2010).
Public and private sector organizations can use quality assurance plans in ongoing decision making as it responds to the changing environment during implementation of the plan. Leadership is about effective decision making and continuous quality improvement, performance plans, quality assurance plans are powerful tools that support leaders in tracking progress and making sustainability related decisions in organizations (Bell, Masaoka & Zimmerman, 2010).
In conclusion the synthesis paper addresses critical issues of redesigning the budget process, strategic planning, and fiscal management in both public and private sectors. The study notes articulate that strategic plan in the in non-profit organizations can not be ignored in order for them to be facile at acquiring and maintain an array of earned and contributed funding streams. Moreover, it can be noted that nonprofit organizations are expected to produce measurable results for their members, constituents and funders hence the need for strategic plans. The reading and study notes demystify mission impact and financial viability using performance plans, quality assurance, partnerships through contracting and monitoring and evaluation to provide strategic options for any organization.