Strategic Management- Intended V. Emergent Strategies

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Date Submitted: 10/17/2010 03:25 PM

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All organisations, regardless of size, engage in some form of strategic planning, to assess how they are performing in the present with the available resources, and how they aim to be performing in the future relative to their competitors; in short, where they are and where they would like to be. Typically, strategic planning has been a highly formalized process undertaken largely by top management, whose role it was to develop and guide the strategies for the entire organisation (Hill & Jones, 2010: 10). When referring to strategic planning management, a ‘formal’ process uses “fixed timescales for the planning cycle, reliance upon extensive documentation and written reports, use of standardised methodologies, and deployment of planning specialists” (Grant, 2003: 496). It has been quite a rigid process, with detailed plans predicting a future operating state much like the present but with incremental changes (Mintzberg, 1994: 110). Not surprisingly, this type of strategic planning fails to capture accurate business realities and cannot solely be relied upon to predict a plausible operating environment into the future, particularly in the dynamic, volatile and technology-driven business world of the twenty-first century. Formal strategic planning does, however, have a very important role to play in shaping future business performance, as a lack of structured planning is completely unfeasible. It is the author’s contention that a degree of formalisation in strategic planning is crucial for every organisation in order to evaluate current performance and aide in increasing this performance in any future operating circumstance. This process should also be the domain of top management, as they alone are in a position to determine how every organisational function and unit contribute to the organisation operating as a whole, and can ascertain complimentary and also conflicting strategies for the entire business. However, strategic planning should also encompass degrees of...