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Long Range Plann. 1992 Jun;25(3):86-97.

Strategic planning: balancing short-run performance and longer term prospects.

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Department of Management, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg.


Strategic planning activities can, to varying degrees be anticipatory or hindsight in orientation. Anticipatory activities prepare the firm for future strategic surprises and enhance the firm's effectiveness in dealing with turbulence and unpredictability in the external environment. Hindsight activities on the other hand, rely greatly on ex-post analysis (of information on past events), emphasize efficiency in key processes and operations, and are predicated on reasonable continuity and stability in the external environment. While both sets of activities are necessary to maintain the balance between effectiveness and efficiency, a relatively greater emphasis on one set or the other is crucial under different degrees of environmental turbulence and unpredictability. Informed implementation of the appropriate degrees of anticipatory and hindsight orientations through differentially emphasizing separate sets of strategic planning activities should enable managers to exercise better strategic control and optimize the firm's short-run performance as well as long-term prospects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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