This paper is intended to provide a major contribution to the study of strategic planning theory and practice through the detailed analysis of current theoretical strategic planning processes coupled with an extensive survey of the practice of strategic planning in major U.S. industry. From this research generic mature and start-up planning processes were formulated and insight provided into their effective utilization.^ The dissertation summarizes the views of numerous authors regarding the vital importance of the study of strategic planning processes and techniques to help structure and coordinate the complex task of planning in the face of increasing fluidity and unpredictability.^ This study further provides insight into the historical development of strategic planning and its metamorphous in focus and degree of sophistication. Recent trends have focused on new techniques of dealing with uncertainty (e.g., multiple scenarios) and development of inter-related, high quality strategies (e.g., portfolio analysis).^ In addition, forty-three planning systems were analyzed and compared as to assist in the formulation of the one proposed in this paper. They revealed a wide variety in approach, scope and emphasis.^ The survey of over 100 major firms was, to this writer's knowledge, the most extensive to date in that it combined the findings of a comprehensive structured interview with valuable serendipitous findings generated from the insights of a variety of corporate planning executives.^ The strategic planning model proposed in the dissertation attempts to provide a flexible structure which utilizes a central planning stream, with basic techniques, together with optional aspects--depending on the firm's approach and degree of planning sophistication.^ Special attention is also given to a start-up model to assist in initial process implementation and emphasize key aspects on which to concentrate when first formulating a formalized, comprehensive process.^ The final section provides numerous suggestions for future research including the development of industry-specific systems and additional empirical research on the performance and evaluation of planning sytems. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, General

Recommended Citation

WILLIAM DOW TROTTER, "STRATEGIC PLANNING THEORY AND PRACTICE" (January 1, 1981). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI8205355.



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