Seeking outstanding individuals: The evolving practice of strategic planning

Yakis-Douglas, Basak, Whittington, Richard and Cailluet, Ludovic (2010) Seeking outstanding individuals: The evolving practice of strategic planning. In: 26th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, Lisbon, Portugal.

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In this paper we use discourse analysis to investigate the process of institutionalization and change of strategic planning practices over four decades. We propose a model that connects the production and consumption of text to the process of institutionalization and its subsequent expression in new practices. To do this, we use the empirical material of job advertisement for strategic planners and their content. To map and analyze the semantic network of concepts in strategic planner adverts, we used ReseauLu (RL) (Cambrosio et al, 2004; Mogoutov, 2008), a network analysis software designed specifically for the treatment and mapping of complex, heterogeneous relational data so that they can be visually inspected and interpreted.Given that discourse is an important element in the process of social change (Fairclough, 2005), we posit that the content of job advertisement participates in the process of institutionalization of strategic planning as an occupation. We find that vocabulary forms a discourse that participates in the institutionalization of strategic planning as an occupation and as a practice. “Long”, “range” and “planning” tends to disappear in favor of “strategy” between the 1960s and the 1990s. Only “planning” survives the test of time as it is combined with other terms such as “strategic” and has acquired a generic sense that is less connected to a specific period in time. We conclude that that the institution of strategy changed over the last forty years from a primarily corporate orientation, concerned with extending budget-disciplines over the long-term, to a more strategic one concerned with reactivity, integration of business-level initiatives and competition. However, the activity of strategizing remains centered on planning, an activity requiring analytical skills, synthesis and creativity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Strategic planning; Organizations
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2012 19:26
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2016 14:01

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