Diplomacy Fundamentals and Roles of Private and Public Management

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Diplomacy Fundamentals and Roles of Private and Public Management Oyewole O. Sarumi PhD, FCIPDM, FCIPMN, FNIMN

What is Diplomacy?:

What is Diplomacy? Diplomacy is a key concept in world politics. It refers to a process of communication and negotiation between states and other international actors. Diplomacy according to Sir Harold Nicholson 1969 is the term used to denote quite different things and is often used synonymous to foreign policy. Diplomacy in essence is the instrument employed to put into effect substance, aims and attitudes of state's relations between one group alien to themselves.

Diplomacy definition cont’d:

Diplomacy definition cont’d Simply diplomacy is management of international relations by negotiation, the method by which these relations are adjusted and managed by ambassadors and envoys, the business of art pf the diplomats. Diplomacy is concerned with dialogue and negotiation and in this sense is not merely an instrument of state. It is also an instrument of state system itself.


Diplomacy began in the ancient world but took on a recognizably modern form from the fifteenth century onwards with the establishment of the permanent embassies. Since the emergence of the state system in Europe in the 15 th century an organized and fairly coherent system of permanent relations has developed among the actors and even when these relations have been the principle means of communication.


Although it is common to separate the diplomatic and military means at the state’s disposal. Hence the saying by Fredrick the great ‘diplomacy without arms is like music without instrument’. The ability to practice diplomacy is one of the defining elements of a state, and diplomacy has been practiced since the first city-states were formed millennia ago.


For most of human history diplomats were sent only for specific negotiations, and would return immediately after their mission concluded. Diplomats were usually relatives of the ruling family or of very high rank in order to give them legitimacy when they sought to negotiate with the other state

Diplomacy and world politics:

Diplomacy and world politics A ‘traditional’ diplomacy system developed thereafter had some distinctive features which can be summarized under the headings of structure , process , and agenda .

Structure :

Structure Traditional diplomacy can be distinguished from its predecessors in the ancient and medieval worlds primarily because it constituted a communications process between recognizable modern states rather than between other forms of political organization, for example, the Catholic Church. Later, diplomacy agents acting on behalf of state became institutionalized and by the end of the nineteenth century all states had a network of embassies abroad linked to specialized foreign departments at home. Diplomacy had also become established as a profession.


Process The traditional process of diplomacy also drew upon rules and procedures for bahaviour from earlier diplomatic system. From the fifteen century onwards, diplomacy became not just a regular process but also a regularized process. Procedural rules known as diplomatic protocol were developed, and a series of rights, privileges, and immunities became attached both to diplomats and diplomatic activities.


Agenda Traditional diplomacy can be characterized also by its agenda which was narrow certainly by comparison with later periods. Usually the preoccupation of diplomacy reflected the preoccupations of political leaders.


Traditional diplomacy reached its most developed form and was most effective as a system for ordering international relations in nineteenth century.

Modern diplomacy:

Modern diplomacy Modern diplomacy's origins are often traced to the states of Northern Italy in the early Renaissance, with the first embassies being established in the thirteenth century. Milan played a leading role, especially under Francesco Sforza who established permanent embassies to the other city states of Northern Italy. It was in Italy that many of the traditions of modern diplomacy began, such as the presentation of an ambassadors credentials to the head of state.

New diplomacy:

New diplomacy World War I was a ‘watershed’ in the history of diplomacy. The perceived failure of diplomacy to prevent this war led to a demand for a ‘new’ diplomacy that would be less secretive and more subject of democratic control. The outbreak of World War II revealed the limits of the ‘new’ diplomacy.


Structure Two important changes: State were no longer the only actors involved. Governments themselves were beginning to change in terms of the scope of their activities and the extend to which they sought to regulate the lives of their citizens.


Process The nature of new diplomacy as a process of negotiation was also changed. State continued to negotiate bilaterally with each other on a state-to-state basis, but groups of states negotiated multilaterally through the auspices of intergovernmental organizations.


Agenda The agenda of the new diplomacy contained a number of new issues. Avoidance of war became a priority. However diplomatic activities also began to focus more on economic, social, and welfare issues relating to material wellbeing. These became known as ‘low politics’ issues.

Cold War diplomacy:

Cold War diplomacy Cold War diplomacy relates to the period after World War II when international relations were dominated by a global confrontation between the superpowers and their allies. The imperative need to avoid a nuclear war but also to ‘win’ the Cold War produced a very delicate and dangerous form of diplomacy. The most important types of cold war diplomacy are nuclear, crisis, and summit diplomacy.

Diplomacy after the Cold War:

Diplomacy after the Cold War The end of the Cold War produced a new mood of optimism that diplomacy could resolve all major international problems. Such optimism quickly dissipated when a host of new problems and old problems in a new guise emerged. Post-cold war diplomacy failed to resolve the breakdown of order in the Balkans.

Diplomacy and foreign policy:

Diplomacy and foreign policy Diplomacy plays a key role in the foreign policies of states and other international actors. A diplomatic ‘machinery’ (minimally a foreign department and overseas representation) may be highly developed or rudimentary depending upon the actor but it performs important functions in the making and the implementation of foreign policy.

Diplomacy as policy instrument :

Diplomacy as policy instrument Diplomacy as a government activity refers not only to a particular policy instrument but also to the whole process of policy making and implementation. Main functions of the diplomatic machine Information gathering Policy advice Representation Negotiation Consular services


The main function of diplomacy is negotiation which broadly means discussion designed to identify common interest and areas of conflict between parties.


Diplomacy involves persuading other actors to do (or not to do) what you want (don't want) them to do. To be effective, (‘pure’) diplomacy may need to be supplemented by other instruments, but negotiating skills are central to the art of diplomacy.

The relationship between diplomacy and other policy instruments:

The relationship between diplomacy and other policy instruments Diplomacy combined with other instruments (military, economic, subversion) is called mixed diplomacy. Here, diplomacy becomes a communications channel through which the use or threatened use of other instruments is transmitted to other parties. Diplomacy usually has comparative advantages over other instruments in terms of availability and cost.

Diplomacy and developing states:

Diplomacy and developing states Developing states are handicapped as effective international actors by having relatively underdeveloped diplomatic machines and by a restricted range of policy instruments. For many developing states, the use of international organizations at both regional and global levels is crucial to compensate for weaknesses in national capabilities.

The management of multilateral diplomacy :

The management of multilateral diplomacy In complex, multilateral negotiations, diplomacy has become less an art form and more a management process reflecting high levels of interdependence between societies. Globalization challenges traditional state-based diplomacy but there are indications that states are adapting to those challenges.


The war against terrorism after September 11, 2001 has posed a major challenge to the role of diplomacy in global politics. This challenge has been framed within a debate about the appropriate relationship between hard and soft instruments of power.

New Changes:

New Changes Changes have occurred both in the conduct of diplomacy and in personnel associated with it From bilateral and multilateral Decline in decision making of ambassadors Personnel diplomacy Use of experts and specialists

New Changes:

New Changes Increased number of treaties Growth of the importance of media The expansion of international community and non state actors. The enhancement and enlargement of the scope of modern diplomacy and the widening of its agenda has resulted in a change of emphasis (more on economic issues than on traditional high politics0 rather than on major change in function.

New Changes:

New Changes Diplomacy today involves great psychological skill and perception than in the past. This requires negotiations to approach their tasks from the point of resorting issues of the common interest rather than gain advantage over the other side.

New Changes:

New Changes Real world diplomatic negotiations are very different from intellectual debates in a university where an issue is decided on the merit of the arguments and negotiators make a deal by splitting the difference. Though diplomatic agreements can sometimes be reached among liberal democratic nations by appealing to higher principles, most real world diplomacy has traditionally been heavily influenced by hard power .

Interaction of strength and diplomacy:

Interaction of strength and diplomacy The interaction of strength and diplomacy can be illustrated by a comparison to labor negotiations. If a labor union is not willing to strike, then the union is not going anywhere because management has absolutely no incentive to agree to union demands. On the other hand, if management is not willing to take a strike, then the company will be walked all over by the labor union, and management will be forced to agree to any demand the union makes. The same concept applies to diplomatic negotiations.

Soft Power is preferable :

Soft Power is preferable There are also incentives in diplomacy to act reasonably, especially if the support of other actors is needed. The gain from winning one negotiation can be much less than the increased hostility from other parts. This is also called soft power . Many situations in modern diplomacy are also rules based. When for instance two WTO countries have trade disputes, it is in the interest of both to limit the spill over damage to other areas by following some agreed-upon rules.

Informal Diplomacy:

Informal Diplomacy Informal diplomacy (sometimes called Track II diplomacy) has been used for centuries to communicate between powers. Most diplomats work to recruit figures in other nations who might be able to give informal access to a country's leadership. In some situations, such as between the United States and the People's Republic of China a large amount of diplomacy is done through semi-formal channels using interlocutors such as academic members of thinktanks . This occurs in situations where governments wish to express intentions or to suggest methods of resolving a diplomatic situation, but do not wish to express a formal position.


Track II diplomacy is a specific kind of informal diplomacy, in which non-officials (academic scholars, retired civil and military officials, public figures, social activists) engage in dialogue, with the aim of conflict resolution, or confidence-building. Sometimes governments may fund such Track II exchanges. Sometimes the exchanges may have no connection at all with governments, or may even act in defiance of governments; such exchanges are called Track III.

Para-diplomacy :

Para-diplomacy Para-diplomacy refers to the international relations conducted by subnational, regional, local or non-central governments. The most ordinary case of para-diplomatic relation refer to co-operation between bordering political entities. However, interest of federal states, provinces, regions etc., may extend over to different regions or to issues gathering local governments in multilateral fora worldwide. Some non-central governments may be allowed to negotiate and enter into agreement with foreign central states.

Cultural Diplomacy:

Cultural Diplomacy Cultural diplomacy is a part of diplomacy. It alludes to a new way of making diplomacy by involving new non governmental and non professional actors in the making of diplomacy. In the frame of globalization, culture plays a major role in the definition of identity and in the relations between people. Joseph Nye points out the importance of having a soft power besides a hard power . When classical diplomacy fails, a better knowledge can help bridging the gap between different cultures. Cultural diplomacy becomes a subject of academic studies based on historical essays on the United States, Europe, and the Cold war

The Public & Private Sectors In Nigeria:

The Public & Private Sectors In Nigeria The public sector consists of governments and all publicly controlled or publicly funded agencies, enterprises, and other entities that deliver public programs, goods, or services. - Institute of Internal Auditors (2011), the public sector was widely regarded as the pivot that would promote socioeconomic development after independence. (Ayee, 2005)


The private sector operates in a large segment of informal parts of the economy, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with very little, if any linkage to the huge multinationals and an unproductive culture of dependence on government patronage and contracts ( Osemeke , 2011). The private sector is synonymous with efficiency. - Ajila and Awonusi (2004). Practices common within the sector include: differential wage payment as incentive to increase production; attract more experienced staff from rival organizations; improving and being open to the adoption of new management techniques.

Comparison of The Public & Private Sectors In Nigeria:

Comparison of The Public & Private Sectors In Nigeria MANAGEMENT PRACTICE PUBIC SECTOR (NIGERIA) PRIVATE SECTOR (NIGERIA) Operations Management Unclear Clear Human Resource Management Bureaucratic, Politically Influenced. Based on Merit, Motivated by Efficiency. Performance Monitoring Limited, Less Frequent. High, More Frequent. Incentive/People Management Poor, Fixed, Motivated by Legislation. Motivated by Efficiency, Performance. Decision Making Politically Motivated, Legislative Approval. Profit Driven, Motivated by Efficiency. Financial Control Merged with Administration. Separated from Administration. According to Babafemi Smith [2017], the following table shows a brief but concise comparison of selected management practices in both the private and public sector in Nigeria:

Management – What IS It?:

Management – What IS It?


Every individual or entity requires setting objectives, making plans, handling people, coordinating and controlling activities, achieving goals and evaluating performance directed towards organizational goals. These activities relate to the utilization of variables or resources from the environment − human, monetary, physical, and informational. Human resources refer to managerial talent, labor (managerial talent, labor, and services provided by them), monetary resources (the monetary investment the organization uses to finance its current and long-term operations), physical resources (raw materials, physical and production facilities and equipment) and information resources (data and other kinds of information). Management is essentially the bringing together these resources within an organization towards reaching objectives of an organization.

What Management is: :

What Management is:  ‘Attainment of organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organizing, leading and controlling’ OR ‘organization and direction of resources to achieve a result’ (Samson & Daft 2003:9; Allison 1988) A manager is a role: ‘Sets objectives … organizes, motivates and communicates … and develops people’ (Drucker 1953, in Jones 2005:15)


Management guru, Peter Drucker, says the basic task of management includes both marketing and innovation. According to him, “Management is a multipurpose organ that manages a business and manages managers, and manages workers and work.” Harold Koontz defined management as ” the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups.” Management is the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling an organization’s human, financial, physical, information and other resources to achieve organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner. [Oyewole Sarumi, 2016]


These definitions place an emphasis on the attainment of organizational goals/objectives through deployment of the management process (planning, organizing, directing, etc.) for the best use of organization’s resources. Management makes human effort more fruitful thus effecting enhancements and development. The principles of management are the means by which a manager actually manages, that is, get things done through others − individually, in groups, or in organizations.

The Principles of Management:

The Principles of Management the principles of management are the activities that “plan, organize, and control the operations of the basic elements of [people], materials, machines, methods, money and markets, providing direction and coordination, and giving leadership to human efforts, so as to achieve the sought objectives of the enterprise.”

Management Cluster in PPO:

Management Cluster in PPO According to Allison (1998) management in both public and private organisations cluster around three areas: Strategy: objectives, priorities, plans Managing internal components : organising, staffing, directing, controlling etc. Managing external constituencies:   other units in organisation/system; other independent organisations; media; public

The Need for Managers:

The Need for Managers Managers are required in all the activities of organizations. Every organization has ‘Managers’ who are entrusted with the responsibility of guiding and directing the organization to achieve its goals. Managers administer and coordinate resources effectively and efficiently to channelize their energy towards successful accomplishment of the goals of the organization. Their expertise is vital across departments throughout the organization

Role of Managers:

Role of Managers Managers are the primary force in an organization's growth and expansion. Larger organizations are particularly complex due to their size, process, people and nature of business. Organizations need to be a cohesive whole encompassing every employee and their talent, directing them towards achieving the set business goals. This is an extremely challenging endeavor, and requires highly effective managers having evolved people management and communication skills.

Management Levels in Organisation:

Management Levels in Organisation

Management Levels in Organisation:

Management Levels in Organisation

The Changing Roles of Management and Managers:

The Changing Roles of Management and Managers Every organization has three primary interpersonal roles that are concerned with interpersonal relationships. The manager in the figurehead role represents the organization in all matters of formality. The top-level manager represents the company legally and socially to the outside world that the organization interacts with. In the supervisory role, the manager represents his team to the higher management. He acts as a liaison between the higher management and his team. He also maintains contact with his peers outside the organization.


The Top Management Senior Management General Management Functional Management Line and Staff Managers Project Manager

Mintzberg's Set of Ten Roles:

Mintzberg's Set of Ten Roles Professor Henry Mintzberg, a great management researcher, after studying managers for several weeks concluded that, to meet the many demands of performing their functions, managers assume multiple roles. He propounded that the role is an organized set of behaviors. He identified the following ten roles common to the work of all managers. These roles have been split into three groups as illustrated in the following figure.


Mintzberg's Set of Ten Roles

Interpersonal Role:

Interpersonal Role Figurehead  − Has social, ceremonial and legal responsibilities. Leader  − Provides leadership and direction. Liaison  − Networks and communicates with internal and external contacts.

Informational Role:

Informational Role Monitor  − Seeks out information related to your organization and industry, and monitors internal teams in terms of both their productivity and well-being. Disseminator  − Communicates potentially useful information internally. Spokesperson  − Represents and speaks for the organization and transmits information about the organization and its goals to the people outside it.

Decisional Role:

Decisional Role Entrepreneur  − Creates and controls change within the organization - solving problems, generating new ideas, and implementing them. Disturbance Handler  − Resolves and manages unexpected roadblocks. Resource Allocator  − Allocates funds, assigning staff and other organizational resources. Negotiator  − Involved in direct important negotiations within the team, department, or organization.

Managerial Skills:

Managerial Skills Henri Fayol, a famous management theorist also called as the Father of Modern Management, identified three basic managerial skills – technical skill, human skill and conceptual skill.

Technical Skill:

Technical Skill Knowledge and skills used to perform specific tasks. Accountants, engineers, surgeons all have their specialized technical skills necessary for their respective professions. Managers, especially at the lower and middle levels, need technical skills for effective task performance. Technical skills are important especially for first line managers, who spend much of their time training subordinates and supervising their work-related problems.

Human Skill:

Human Skill Ability to work with, understand, and motivate other people as individuals or in groups. According to Management theorist Mintzberg, the top (and middle) managers spend their time: 59 percent in meetings, 6 percent on the phone, and 3 percent on tours. Ability to work with others and get co-operation from people in the work group. For example, knowing what to do and being able to communicate ideas and beliefs to others and understanding what thoughts others are trying to convey to the manager.

Conceptual Skill:

Conceptual Skill Ability to visualize the enterprise as a whole, to envision all the functions involved in a given situation or circumstance, to understand how its parts depend on one another, and anticipate how a change in any of its parts will affect the whole. Creativity, broad knowledge and ability to conceive abstract ideas. For example, the managing director of a telecom company visualizes the importance of better service for its clients which ultimately helps attract a vast number of clients and an unexpected increase in its subscriber base and profits.

Other Managerial Skills:

Other Managerial Skills Besides the skills discussed above, there are two other skills that a manager should possess, namely diagnostic skill and analytical skill. Diagnostic Skill  − Diagnose a problem in the organization by studying its symptoms. For example, a particular division may be suffering from high turnover. With the help of diagnostic skill, the manager may find out that the division’s supervisor has poor human skill in dealing with employees. This problem might then be solved by transferring or training the supervisor. Diagnostic skill enables managers to understand a situation, whereas analytical skill helps determine what to do in a given situation.


Analytical Skill  − Ability to identify the vital or basic elements in a given situation, evaluate their interdependence, and decide which ones should receive the most attention. This skill enables the manager to determine possible strategies and to select the most appropriate one for the situation. For example, when adding a new product to the existing product line, a manager may analyze the advantages and risks in doing so and make a recommendation to the board of directors, who make the final decision.

Manager’s Role:

Manager’s Role According to O’Toole, Meier & Nicholson-Crotty, manager’s role can be summarised as follows: Private sector  Respond to economic marketplace Profits and shareholder maximisation i.e. financial returns   Customer satisfaction to ensure financial returns Non-profits    Respond to donor marketplace Achievement of social purpose and satisfaction of donor desires Public sector    Respond to political marketplace Achievement of politically mandated mission and fulfilment of citizen Aspirations is to create public value

Public Sector Management: Roles & Responsibilities:

Public Sector Management: Roles & Responsibilities Effective public sector management relies on the contributions of many people. Each person or agency has specific roles and responsibilities that support the organization in meeting governance and accountability requirements. People and agencies involved include: Legislative Assembly Cabinet Ministers/Commissioners Responsible Ministry PS/DG Board of Directors/MD of Parastatals/Agencies President/Governors Ministry of Justice Accountant Generals/Treasury etc. etc.

Challenges For Public Managers!:

Challenges For Public Managers! Managing upward  Toward political leaders Toward authorising environment Managing outward   Networks of organisations (public, private, non-profit), citizenry, clients Managing downward   Into their own organisation – MDAs and parastatals.

The Place Of Diplomacy In The Roles Of Public And Private Sectors Managers:

The Place Of Diplomacy In The Roles Of Public And Private Sectors Managers Diplomacy is a way of life…and it is the ability to be polite and not hurtful but cautious in our dealings with others; don’t upset relationships; strive to live in harmony; negotiate and resolve conflicts peaceably; and speak with tact, wisdom and sense of decorum always to build and strengthen relationships. Therefore, long-term success of diplomacy is based on strong communication skills, planning, self-control, confidence and emotional intelligence.


As both private and public managers interact with people – upward, downward and horizontal etc. diplomatic techniques remain versatile tool to navigate the intricacies of government bureaucracies and private enterprise organized/hierarchical structures.


The major task of diplomacy today is to search… not for the balance of power, but for the balance of interest. Top priority of managers in private/public organisations is to reinvigorate in full scope traditional methods of diplomacy - the search for compromise solutions. The all or nothing mentality no longer works in both public and private enterprises. A partial and balanced approach is an answer to the new geopolitical and economic realities.


There is a place and space for the new diplomacy which is open, globalized, multilateral, democratic and involves strong publicity. When diplomacy became open, people are taken into confidence on various matters to get popular support. No manager will survive in the 21 st century unless he/she imbibes the spirit of the new diplomacy to effectively navigate the murky waters in today’s workplace.

Why Public Sector cannot be run like Private Sector:

Why Public Sector cannot be run like Private Sector It’s become a cliché that government would be better if it were only run by private-sector managers using standard business practices. But I declared that the environment is not the same. Why? The size, dollar value, and complexity of many government programs exceed that in the private sector. The government has fewer measures of progress or success than the private sector. Spending on a program is not equivalent to progress. The private sector has profit as a clear-cut measure. The civil service and compensation rules of the government make it more difficult to encourage outstanding performance and discourage poor performance.

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