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A Critical Review of ‘the Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning’

In: Business and Management

Submitted By selene816
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A Critical Review of ‘The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning’
The arrival of strategic planning had attracted general attention because it implanted in managers’ minds a kind of imperative about the process that was rational and future-oriented (Mintzberg et al, 1998). Nevertheless, Whittington (2001:4) observed,
“the plan is bound to get forgotten as circumstances change”. The purpose of this essay is to critically review ‘The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning’. Firstly, the position of this article in the wider debate will be given followed by its theoretical underpinnings and its main strengths and weaknesses respectively. A conclusion will be drawn on the article’s contribution to the field of business strategy.

The article’s position falls in between Whittington’s classical and processual approaches. On one hand, Mintzberg challenged the traditional classical planning and progressed towards the processual approach through identifying three fundamental fallacies. Firstly, classicalists held conventional wisdom that the world was sufficiently stable that today’s planning could forecast and fit market changes
(Whittington, 2001). However, Mintzberg (1994:110) took the fresh view that the prediction of discontinuities was “virtually impossible” through questioning Ansoff’s
“extraordinary statement”. Hogarth and Makridakis (1981) strengthened that longterm prediction was notoriously imprecise. If Wilbur Wight had anticipated the prevalence of airplanes nowadays, he would not have said “not within a thousand years will man ever fly” in 1901 (Coffey, 1983 cited in Whittington, 2001). Therefore,
Mintzberg favoured the processual approach that strategic planning should be evolving to adapt to complexities in an unpredictable world (Burnes, 1996).

Secondly, the classical school believed that strategies are best created at one remove from the...

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