Task 3 – Individual Essay
‘Strategic planning at most companies doesn’t really matter anymore. Sure, the process often consumes an enormous amount of time and produces reams of data, but rarely does it drive top management’s decisions or a company’s overall strategy.’ (Mankins, 2008)
Critically evaluate strategic planning as an appropriate way of developing an organizations strategy
Submission Date: Monday 20th April
Focus is on strategic planning not strategy
Must be theoretically embedded and include company examples
Essay format, not a report
What is strategic planning?
Introduction to the strategic planning school of thought. Characteristics of the planned approach.
Models / theorists which are associated with the school
Signposting the reader
Strengths and pitfalls of strategic planning
Plans in place – everyone knows what they are – gives direction
Increases awareness of external factors – can possibly be more prepared – have foreseen some events coming.
Better understanding of the external environment due to the analysis taking place – see bigger picture
Allocated resources better and budgeting
Having conversations about the future and thinking about the future
Facilitate risk management agenda
Less agile and less flexible – increased rigidity if remain committed to original plans / or too much focus
Plans completely wrong – changes that are unforeseen – waste of time? – volatile environment – strategic planning not as useful
Analytical tools used have limitations – both in the data collected and the subjective nature.
Same team making strategic decisions / plans – same decisions being made. Lack diversity will compound this issue.
Plans are not the correct ones for the event that occurs.
Divorced implementation from decision making
What are the alternatives?
Mintzberg – strategy as craft / incremental approach
RBV / core competency theory
So how should organisations approach strategic planning?
Blended approach: Quinn (1978) and Quinn and Voyer (1994) adopt both a strategic planning approach and purposeful incrementalism. Strong emphasis on environmental scanning, organisation learning and strategy as an on-going process (Markides). Deliberate and unplanned.
Implementation implications – practical insights
Summing up of the essay. Nothing new should appear in this section – just a recap of what you have already said.
Reading from Blackboard and evidence of wider reading also.
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