MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Stelman, Ursula

Geographical Areas

Markham, Vaughan, Brampton, Burlington, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill, Windsor


This paper examines the organizational and institutional factors that contribute to strategic planning efforts within the specific context of municipal government departments. It uses a mixed-methods approach consisting of a quantitative and qualitative analysis. The qualitative data was collected through interviews with department heads from two municipalities – Markham and Vaughan – that demonstrated enhanced strategic management processes, while the quantitative data was collected through a questionnaire that measured the perceptions of department heads employed by mid-sized Ontario municipalities. The findings reveal that each measure contained in the Strategic Management Processes Index demonstrates a relatively healthy level of management processes in Ontario, but there are relatively low rates of employee engagement at the departmental level.