Strategic Management Methodology: Generally Accepted Principles for Practitioners

Article excerpt

Strategic Management Methodology: Generally Accepted Principles for Practitioners by C. W. Roney. Praeger Publishers (http://www.praeger.com), 88 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut 06881-5007, 2004, 360 pages, $69.95 (hardcover).

An academic text and an entry in the Guidelines for Strategists series, Professor Roney's Strategic Management Methodology reviews and summarizes existing literature on strategic planning for the business community. It does require some familiarity with business practices and planning to ensure the survival of the company and maximizing shareholders' value. Although some business principles will never work in the military, Roney's presentation allows the military community to understand the planning guidance that business professionals utilize to meet the demands of business cycles.

Individuals involved with planning and programming will find some of the principles of cycle planning familiar, but, unlike the military, the business community must plan for success or face immediate failure. Classical planning reached an impasse when replanning did not keep pace with changing business climates from the late 1950s until the 1970s when data automation reached maturity for business and accounting programming. As two deep recessions in 1982-83 and 1990-91 hit America, critics of business planning cited the inability of the planning profession to predict these slowdowns. Business planners needed more complex and reactive electronic-planning programs. With the modeling of more variables and their factoring into strategic planning, technology allowed the introduction of classic models into the planning profession. Aligning planning methodology to a particular industry is vital in strategic planning.

Roney charts different methods of strategic planning, noting their successes and drawbacks, as well as the ways business has implemented academic theory to its advantage. Two principal modes, adaptive and developmental, are the opposite ends of autonomy. Adaptive planning is highly innovative and unlikely to be incremental. Developmental planning is less radically responsive to a business's environmental circumstances. A neoclassical planning model involves both internal capabilities, such as resources, strengths, and weaknesses, and the external environment, including opportunities, threats to industry markets, strategy, and an approach to pursuing goals. Strategy is then broken down into immediate, short-term tasks; progress reviews; and evaluation steps. One then draws up reprogramming steps for future contingencies. Roney offers a comprehensive overview by examining the models in detail and describing what academics and theorists have written about models, approaches, and methodologies. …