The history of strategic planning begins in the military. According to Webster's New World Dictionary, strategy is "the science of planning and directing large-scale military operations, of maneuvering forces into the most advantageous position prior to actual engagement with the enemy" (Guralnic, 1986). Although our understanding of strategy and applying strategic planning in management has been transformed from a point of military maneuvering to one that aim's to achieve and gives a structured framework to reach a competitive advantage.
Taking its name and roots from the military model, early models of formal strategic planning "reflected the hierarchical values and linear systems of traditional organizations. Undertaken by planning functions at the top of the organization, its structure was highly vertical and time-bound. A certain period would be set aside to analyze the situation and decide on a course of action. This would result in a formal document. Once this was done, the actual work of implementation, which was considered a separate, discrete process - could begin" (Wall & Wall, 1995).
Although individual definitions of strategy vary between each author, traditionally, theorists have considered planning an essential part of organizational strategy. "Strategic planning in organizations originated in the 1950s and was very popular and widespread between mid-1960s to mid-1970s, when people believed it was the answer for all problems, and corporate America was obsessed with strategic planning. Following that boom strategic planning had fallen off and was cast aside for over a decade. The 1990s brought the revival of strategic planning as a process with particular benefits in particular contexts" (Mintzberg, 1994). In Here is a brief account of several generations of strategic planning. " Analysis model dominated strategic planning of the 1950s. The 1960s brought qualitative and quantitative models of strategy. During the early 1980s,...
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