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

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

 

Key considerations:

Focus is on strategic planning not strategy

Must be theoretically embedded and include company examples

Essay format, not a report

 

Essay Structure:

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

Strengths

 

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

 

 

Pitfalls

 

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.

Company examples

Implementation implications – practical insights

 

Conclusions

Summing up of the essay. Nothing new should appear in this section – just a recap of what you have already said.

 

References:

Reading from Blackboard and evidence of wider reading also.

 

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