Planned strategy, emergent strategy and scenario planning

Topics: Strategic planning, Strategic management, Strategy Pages: 10 (2806 words) Published: March 15, 2007
Nowadays, strategy is the focal point of all business ventures. It is essential to any successful business. In a nutshell, a strategy means the actions that manager's take to attain the goals of the firm (Mintzberg, Quinn and Voyer, 1995). In addition, strategic is a term that virtually every businessperson believes they know and understand. Strategy planning is the process of developing and implementing plans to reach goals and objectives. Strategic planning, more than anything else, is what gives direction to an organization and actions necessary to improve its performance (O'Regan, N & Ghobadian, A, 2002).

This paper sets out to determine the importance of strategy, fundamentally the differences between 3 forms of strategy, namely the planned strategy, emergent strategy and scenario planning. In accordance with this, the advantages and disadvantages of these strategic thought in relation to the development of primary/core strategy. It also attempts to look at the differences between the proponents and opponents of strategy, in that a discussion is based on why planning is much maligned by its opponents.

Firstly it is important to outline the main three forms of strategy.

Strategic management has commonly been portrayed as revolving around the discrete phases of formulation, implementation, and control, carried out in almost cascading steps (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand and Lampel, 1998). These are three steps of the planned approach to strategy involves a formal process to strategy formation: problem awareness, the development of solutions and the selection of a solution (Forbes and Fletcher, 2000). In the same context, Marlo (2000) denoted a planned strategy comprising of a declaration of specific and expressed intentions, supported with formal controls.

Jauch and Osborn (1991) commented with his realization that towards a successful outcome of the strategy, a firm structure is necessary for an organization. Hence all decisions made from the top management can be carried out throughout the organization, with the "people" convinced and act in ways that are expected to create desirable results ad hoc to the plan. Therefore, strategy-making authority rests with top management, committing a centralized power in an organization. In view of the forward looking nature of a planned strategy, Mazzolini (1988) observed that goals or objective fulfillments are the critical outcome of the strategy.

In a foresight, Snow and Hambrick (1992) notes that the planned strategy is decision making to attain corporate goals in the future which are treated in a formal, explicit and systematic process. Harrison and Philips (1991) found out that a planned strategy is often billed as a future oriented activity, merely projecting the recent past into the future. Through this process, it carries out operational planning, project planning and strategic planning constantly, making sure that top management holds the influence and control for the undertaking in the future.

The basic concept behind planned strategy is just exactly what the name implies meaning that it is planned therefore at best a guess/forecast which then is the basis for any type of decision making. Typically, organisations will "plan"/forecast variables that they foresee that will have an future impact on their business, so they anticipate certain events to occur in the future, and as a result of this anticipation they design and implement a strategy to effectively allocate the proper resources in place to either minimise or maximise respectively the negative or positive effects of the event. In essence, it allows an organization to "see the bigger picture" of the challenges and opportunities ahead of them. Any form of planned strategy will contain some element of contingency planning, though not much, but these contingencies are not the focal point of planned strategy. Opponents of this type of strategy believe that this strategy is at best a guess, which could be...

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