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Prescriptive and Emergent Approaches to Strategic Planning Article (Article Sample)


the task was to write an article for iqualify uk online library and teaching zone. the sample is about "Prescriptive and Emergent Approaches to Strategic Planning" and determines whether they are Relevant to Organisations. The sample is available to the public at:


Prescriptive and Emergent Approaches to Strategic Planning: Are they Relevant to Organisations?
1.0 Introduction
There is complexity and uncertainty involved in formulating, developing and implementing an organisation’s strategy. The strategy can be developed following prescriptive/deliberate approach and/or emergent approach. In this article, we will discuss the relevance of the two approaches to strategic planning.
2.0 Prescriptive and Emergent Approaches to Strategic Planning
2.1 Strategy and Strategic Planning
Strategy refers to the long-term direction of an organisation as it attempts to achieve competitive advantage amidst resource constraints, diverse stakeholder expectations, and changing business environment. This implies that managers must analyse the internal environment to identify strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), and external environment in order to identify opportunities (O) to be exploited and threats (T) to be minimised/neutralised. This shows a need for carrying out a SWOT analysis.
Strategic planning refers to a process in which an organisation’s internal and external environment are systematically analysed and explored to develop its strategy. It can be referred to as 'long-range planning' and it can cover 3-5 years in most business sectors but 15-20 years in oil sector. Such planning can be done using two approaches which are discussed next.
2.2 Prescriptive Approach to Strategic Planning
Under this approach, mission, vision and core values are stated, and objectives are defined before strategy implementation starts. This implies that the organisation will intentionally plan and formulate a rational deliberate/intended strategy according to priorities and intentions of top management. Therefore, the approach follows a top-down hierarchical structure and authoritative management style. The prescriptive process is linear: from strategic analysis to strategy development and then to strategy implementation. Therefore, strategic planning is seen as an orderly, rational, deterministic and systematic process suitable for stable business environments. This approach has three schools of thought: design, planning and positioning schools. However, discussing each of these schools is not in the scope of this article.

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