Decision-Making and Strategic Planning in a Public Research Organisation: The Case of Fiocruz

  • Valdir Ermida

Student thesis: Phd


This study was drawn to investigate an unusual form of "industrial democracy", in Fiocruz, the Brazilian public research organisation in the health field, linked to the Ministry of Health. It is a single case study research making use of two contrasting cases: Embrapa and Pasteur Institute. The former is the Brazilian public research organisation in the agriculture field, similar to Fiocruz in space; and the latter is the French public research organisation for health, similar to Fiocruz in the field. The investigation works with the triangulation of methods approach, combining the analysis of quantitative and qualitative methods aiming at an in-depth analysis of the decision-making and the strategic planning processes of these research-led organisations. For this purpose, two exclusive tools were created and applied to their management boards and key actors. The first tool, an online questionnaire, was applied to the management boards; the second tool, a face-to-face interview, was made with the key actors. The findings were examined considering the literature, whose results supported the analysis of the context of each organisation and their strategic plans. This "second triangulation" revealed an original approach to industrial democracy by Fiocruz, based on a concept postulated by Arouca, which underpinned the creation of SUS, the Brazilian National Unified Health System: "Democracy is health". It represents a paradigm shift in the way the health concept is addressed, by adding a political dimension to it, which includes the citizenship, the free self-determination, the capacity of mastering the future. This unique approach to industrial democracy underpins the decision-making and the strategic planning of Fiocruz, revealing that it is, in fact, a new type of public research organisation; thus, questioning the validity of the existing framework concerning such entities.
Date of Award31 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRonald Ramlogan (Supervisor), Ian Miles (Supervisor) & John Rigby (Supervisor)


  • Health
  • Democracy
  • Public Organisations
  • Decision-Making
  • Strategic Planning

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