Date of Conferral
Public sector organizations have practiced strategic management for more than 30 years. Strategic management in the public sector is subjected to political influence, as resources and major decisions are typically managed by elected and appointed officials. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to identify and report the lived experiences of public sector employees who have been subjected to political influence while engaged in the strategic management of their organizations in the State of Maryland. The study's conceptual framework was based on stakeholder theory and economic theory of the firm. A purposeful sample of 15 Maryland State Government employees shared their experiences through semi structured in-person interviews. Data were collected and transcribed using the Rev.com mobile application and was loaded into Dedoose software for analysis. Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological method was employed for data analysis. The findings revealed the lived experiences of the participants with results in 5 thematic areas: leadership tenue, managing for results, strategic management resources, influence, and political skills. The findings further revealed that legislation that required strategic planning and performance management in Maryland's government has influenced its public sector employees to think strategically. Application of the findings of this study through positive political influences may align careerist actions as they prepare for the future needs of their organizations.