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Ever since long-range planning appeared in the business world, there have been many arguments and misconceptions about its nature.

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Introduction

INTRODUCTION Ever since long-range planning appeared in the business world, there have been many arguments and misconceptions about its nature. Some managers have believed long-range planning, or strategic planning as it is referred to nowadays, is either long-range forecasting or an extended budgeting operation. Others have confused strategic planning with diversification or product improvement or long-term financial planning. Furthermore, some managers have regarded strategic planning as planning for contingencies or as undertaking major changes in the business. The degree of misconception and confusion about the meaning and scope of long-range planning has led to the result that some managers think it is just an academic exercise. Therefore, it has no practical value for organisations. The aim of this report is to give a broad idea about what strategic planning is; its nature; its impact on operational policies; its relation with environmental factors; and the way external and internal triggers could affect the success of strategic objectives. Firstly, a brief presentation of the birth and subsequent development in the long-range planning history will be addressed. The different models used in each period will be tackled as well as the relevant literature published. Secondly, a definition of strategic management and other definitions such as long-range planning, strategy, among others will be addressed. Furthermore, a classification of strategy in general and the different forms of strategic planning will be given. Thirdly, the process of strategic management will be evaluated taking into account the various stages involved in such a process. Additionally, the role of operational policies in the process will be duly dealt with. Fourthly, the influence of the environment on the strategic management process will be analysed. Moreover, the impact of external and internal triggers on the achievement of strategic objectives will be discussed. The role of culture in business environment will also be taken into account. Fifthly, the argument sustained by today's managers about the practical use of long-range planning will be elaborated. ...read more.

Middle

C., 1990. Inside Organisations. 21 Ideas for Managers. London: Penguin Books HANDY. C., 1994. The Empty Raincoat. London: Penguin Books KENICHI. O., 1982. The Mind of the Strategist. The Art of Japanese Business. New York: McGraw-Hill MINTZBERG. H. et al., 2003. The Strategic Process. Concepts, Contexts and Cases. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited WATKINS. M., 2003. The First 90 Days. Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at all Levels. Boston: Harvard Business School Press Journals HENDERSON. R. & MITCHELL. W., Summer 1997. The Interactions of Organisational and Competitive Influences on Strategy and Performance. Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 18. Summer Special Issue. p. 5-14 MINTZBERG. H., & LAMPEL. J., Spring 1999. Reflecting on the Strategic Process. MIT Sloan Management Review. Vol. 40. p. 21-30 MINTZBERG. H., 1997. Managing the Edges. The International Journal of Public Sector. Vol. 10. Iss. 3, p. 131 MINTZBERG. H., Fall 1987. The Strategic Concept II: Another Look at Why Organisations Need Strategies. California Management Review. Vol. 30. p. 25-32 MINTZBERG. H., Fall 1993. Pitfalls of Strategic Planning. Vol. 36. p. 32-47 MINTZBERG. H., Fall 1994. Rounding out the Manager's Job. MIT Sloan Management Riview. Vol. 36. p. 11-26 MINTZBERG. H., November/December 1994. That's Not "Turbulence", Chicken Little, Its's Really Opportunity. Strategy & Leadership. Vol. 22. p. 7-9 MINTZBERG. H., Spring 1999. Reflecting on the Strategic Process. MIT Sloan Management Review. Vol. 40. p. 21-30 MINTZBERG. H., Winter 1973. Strategic-Making in Three Modes. California Management Review. Vol. 16. p. 44-53 SUMANTRA. G. & MINTZBERG. H., Fall 1994. Diversification and Diversifact. California Management Review. Vol. 37. No. 1. p. 8-27 Website BURNS. M., 20th March 2004. Off the Shelf: How to Ensure That Your Strategic Plan Becomes a Valued Tool. www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/str_plan.html-47k ERVEN. B., 20th March 2004. The Five Functions of Management. www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~mgtexcel/Function.html FOCKE. A., 20th March 2004. Plans and Planning: Perspectives from Grantmakers. www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/str_plan.html-47k GOLDBARD. A., 20th March 2004. The Pitfalls of Planning. ...read more.

Conclusion

The SMART goals model is essential to setting meaningful goals. Smart goals are specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time/cost bound. "Action plans ... define how we get to where we want to go," the steps required to reach our strategic goals. Tactics are specific actions used to achieve the strategic goals and implement the strategic plans. EMERGENT STRATEGIES: Unpredicted and unintended events frequently occur that differ from the university's intended strategies, and the university must respond. Emergent strategy is "a pattern, a consistency of behavior over time," "a realized pattern [that] was not expressly intended" in the original planning of strategy. It results from a series of actions converging into a consistent pattern (Mintzberg, 1994, p. 23-25). EVALUATION OF STRATEGY: Periodic evaluations of strategies, tactics, and action programs are essential to assessing success of the strategic planning process. It is important to measure performance at least annually (but preferably more often), to evaluate the effect of specific actions on long-term results and on the organization's vision and mission (Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1997). The organization should measure current performance against previously set expectations, and consider any changes or events that may have impacted the desired course of actions. REVIEW OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN: After assessing the progress of the strategic planning process, the university needs to review the strategic plan, make necessary changes, and adjust its course based on these evaluations. The revised plan must take into consideration emergent strategies, and changes affecting the organization's intended course. STRATEGIC THINKING: With time, people in the university routinely make their decisions within the framework of the organization's strategic vision and mission. Strategic planning becomes an organizational norm, deeply embedded within the organization's decision-making process, and participants learn to think strategically as part of their regular daily activities (Lerner, 1999). Strategic thinking involves "arraying options through a process of opening up institutional thinking to a range of alternatives and decisions that identify the best fit between the institution, its resources, and the environment" (Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1997, p. 15). 1 Migdalia Rojas MRH001FN ...read more.

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