Economic Impact of Large Public Programs: The NASA Experience

By Eli Ginzberg; James W. Kuhn et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Six
Managing Program Impacts

Our study of the impacts of NASA carries significant implications for the overall management and strategic planning of large public programs. The long-range effectiveness -- even survival -- of such programs depends on their managers' abiltiy to shape the programs' impacts and to meet the shifting needs of a wide range of groups as well as to achieve specific objectives. Simply stated, the strategic management of impacts -- economic, technological, and manpower -- is essential to the success and survival of public agencies.

The magnitude of difficulty of the task does not, nevertheless make it any less important. Peter Drucker ( 1974, p. 18) states the case for impact management at the outset of his book:

The manager has to be a craftsman. His first duty is indeed to make his institution perform the mission and purpose for the sake of which it exists -- whether this be goods and services, learning, or patient care. But this is not enough. Any institution exists for the sake of society and within a community. It therefore has to have impacts; and one is responsible for one's impacts. In the society of institutions of the developed countries, the leadership groups, that is, the managers of the various institutions, also have to take social responsibility, have to think through the values, the beliefs, the commitments of their

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