Management and Company

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Imagine you are an executive for BP, and you are preparing a presentation for the board of directors about the organization’s direction. Create a 10- to 15-slide Microsoft ® PowerPoint ® presentation, with speaker notes, in which you address the following: • Evaluate the planning function of management as it relates to the organization’s goals and strategies. Use steps in the planning process outlined in the text. • Analyze the influence that legal issues, ethics, and corporate social responsibility have had on management planning at BP. Provide at least one example for each. • Analyze at least three factors that influence the company's strategic, tactical, operational, and contingency planning.


Part of the management function that involves setting goals and deciding how to best achieve them is called planning. Setting goals and developing plans helps the organization to move in a focused direction while operating in an efficient and effective manner. Strategies or plans are then developed for moving the organization closer to its goals.

Types of Planning

There are four types of planning a company can use; strategic, tactical, operational and contingency planning. Planning is part of making a decision and a manager can use the following types of planning in making short and long term decisions for a company.


Strategic planning is an “organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people” (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). Strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organization's future course, usually anything that is a period of greater than three years. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: what do we do, for whom do we do it, and how do we excel. In business strategic planning, some authors phrase the third question as "How can we beat or avoid competition?" (Bradford and Duncan, page 1, 2000). But this approach is more about defeating competitors than about excelling. Some can confuse or consider strategic and tactical planning to be the same, but they are different


Tactical Planning is the process of taking the strategic plan and breaking it down into specific, short term actions and plans. The length of the tactical planning will vary from one business to another but typically the strategic plan will cover a period greater than three years while the tactical plan covers the period from today through to the end of year three. The next step in planning is a sub-set of strategic and tactical planning, it is operational planning (Batman & Snell, 2011).


An operational plan draws directly from strategic plans to describe agency and program missions and goals, program objectives, and program activities. Like a strategic plan, an operational plan addresses four questions: Where are we now, Where do we want to be, How do we get there, How we measure our progress. After all of the plans are in place a company must think about what ifs. This is where contingency planning steps in.


A contingency plan is a “plan devised for an exceptional risk which is impractical or impossible to avoid” (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). Contingency plans are developed for companies that want to be prepared for events which, while highly unlikely, may have catastrophic effects. Now that the planning function is understood what key elements do we need to consider while planning.

Establishment of a Mission

The first basic step in long-range planning is the definition of the organization's mission. Essentially, the mission is what differentiates the organization from others providing similar goods or services. Strategies are “developed from mission statements to aid the organization in operationalizing its mission” (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). After developing a mission a company must consider external...
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