Long-Range Planning Needs, Capabilities and Effectiveness - A Case Study of a Diversified Company.
ALFRED P SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT CAMBRIDGE MASS
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This paper is one part of a comparative study of 29 corporations. As such, it examines the planning system of General Mills, Inc. The purpose of planning in large organizations is to coordinate the many separate activities of the organization, foster greater efficiencies, and provide greater strength for the organization than the summation of the strengths of the individual activities. The complexity of the issues and the increasing changes in the environment create a need for a long term focus in the planning system. Thus, we see a need for what have been labeled adaptive and integrative planning. Integrative planning insures the proper mesh of the resources used to provide for efficiency. The need for adaptive planning stems from discontinuities in the firms environment. These discontinuities take the form of various opportunities or threats, that is, contingencies which can affect the strength, health, and perhaps the very existence of the firm. Typically, a balance between these two types of planning focus in required for overall effectiveness. The situational setting, goals, and risk taking profile of the firm determine the needs for the firm for this balance. To judge the effectiveness of a planning system then, the degree of fit between these needs and the capabilities of the planning system to fulfil these needs is a necessary measurement.
- Administration and Management
- Economics and Cost Analysis