The purpose of this paper is to make a relationship between strategic planning and strategic management. Nyangabgwe hospital is used as an example in relating these two concepts together. A case scenario is created and strategic planning and strategic management exercised to resolve certain problems from the case. This paper shall also discuss the importance of strategic management in attaining organizational goals. Strategic management deals with the major intended and emergent initiatives taken by general managers on behalf of owners, involving utilization of resources to enhance the performance of organizations in their external environment (Nag, Hambrick & Chen, 2007, p 942). Firzroy & James (2005, p 6) defined strategic management as way of creating organizations that generate value in a turbulent world, over a sustained period of time. They argue that, it is a management task that involves leadership, creativity, passion and analysis; building an organization that both generates and respond to change; developing compensation systems to reward staff; devising appropriate structures and systems; competing for funds in global financial markets; and ensuring that necessary resources are developed and allocated to worthwhile opportunities. Therefore strategic management is concerned with ensuring that strategy is implemented effectively and it encourages strategic learning, thinking, and acting on an on-going basis. The implementation aspect involves working all of the ‘management levers’ in a concerted effort to implement strategic initiatives, advance the strategic agenda, and move an organization into the future in a deliberate manner (Poister and Streib, 1999, p 315).
These levers as described by Poister and Streib (1999, p 315) include, but are not limited to, operational and business planning, budgets, workforce development and training, other management and administrative processes, internal and external communications, analytical and problem-solving capabilities, program delivery mechanisms, legislative agendas, leadership skills, and an organization’s ability to influence other actors in the networks through which it operates. Bryson (2004) defines strategic planning as:
a set of concepts, processes, and tools for shaping “what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why it does it” p 6. Strategic planning is also defined by other authors as a process of reviewing an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges in an attempt to better understand its stakeholders, mission, and objectives and create new, more innovative strategies to allow it to operate more successfully Bryson, 2004; Mitzberg, Lampel, Quinn, & Ghoshal, 2003, as cited by (Korosec, 2006, p 222). Strategic planning is mapping out the direction of the organization by establishing strategic and competitive moves and approaches to be used in achieving the desired business results (Gamble & Thomson, 2009, p 17). Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful. Most of the authors concur that strategic planning is more of creating a strategy that is used by managers to fulfil organizational goals. Therefore the purpose of strategic planning is to promote strategic thinking, acting, and learning on an on-going basis. Thus, strategic planning takes an approach that blends futuristic thinking, objective analysis, and subjective evaluation of values, goals, and priorities to chart a future direction and courses of action to ensure an organization’s vitality, effectiveness, and ability to add public value (Powell, 1992, p 556). Strategic management is viewed as a five staged process, that is developing a strategic vision of the company’s future direction and focus; setting objectives to measure progress towards achieving the strategic vision; crafting a strategy to achieve the...
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