Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Denish Shah


The strategic plan and budget remain essential factors in the strength of most organizations. Organizations only have a finite amount of financial resources to deploy to continue to carry out their vision, mission, and goals, more commonly known as the strategic plan. The purpose of the budget is to funnel those financial resources to execute that mission. Many organizations experience a divergence between their budget and strategic plan. The literature is inundated with coverage on the budget and strategic plan yet mainly centers around them as entirely separate and distinct topics. This study examines the relationship between the budget and strategic plan, where it is critically important to have alignment, and how an individual’s perception of time factor into misalignment. To address this gap, I provide an in-depth case study of a large municipality. Organizations such as these often have tighter budgetary constraints, public service commitments, complicated public policy implications, and more legal restrictions than the private sector. Further, I explore how an exogenous shock, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, amplifies the budget and strategic plan's misalignment. I conducted a total of twenty-three semi-structured interviews with senior- and executive-level personnel. I supplemented the interviews with publicly available materials, strategic plans, proposed and adopted budgets, and website information. As a result, these findings offer a detailed empirical account of how the budget and strategic plan's relationship evolves over a fiscal year within a large government. Based on a broad analysis of this data, I also find that the budget and strategic plan relationship and the explanations for misalignment can be more complex and subtle than previously thought. Additionally, I provide exemplary lessons for practitioners to identify, manage and mitigate misalignments between the budget and strategic plan within their own organizations to maximize financial and non-financial performance outcomes.

INDEX WORDS: Budget, Strategic Plan, COVID-19, Budget and Strategic Plan Relationship, Public Finance, Temporal Dimensions


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