planningPlanning is a process of developing and maintaining a viable fit between the organization’s objectives, resources, and market opportunities. It can be short and long term. Short term planning generally manages day-to-day issues related to implementation of the strategic decisions. Long term planning also known as strategic planning takes strategic decisions and a kind of problem solving process. The aim of strategic planning is to shape and reshape the company’s business and products so that they combine to produce satisfactory profit and growth.

The concept of strategic planning includes all the structural components such as division of labor, division of power, endowment of monetary and non-monetary rewards. It refers to the activity where organizations devise deliberate actions to control the external and internal factors, which can affect its effectiveness. It is a strategy of consuming input and output, but, it does not mean a static course of action. It can be taken as a functional guideline for the organization. It is a procedure to choose options from different available alternatives and provides the outline for short and long term actions. It works as a paradigm for the organization. If the organization lacks planning it is quite possible that the organization face troubles not only internally but externally, as well since it influences formal and informal structure of the organization. The organizational planning is a reinforcer which affects the organization drastically both in a positive and a negative way depending on how it is done. It can be done in different ways and three of them are given below

Rational process of Planning

Planning is considered the soul of the organization by the rational theorists such as F.W. Tyler and Marx Weber. The classical thought believes that the best and comprehensive planning is possible. The concept of rational planning reflects that one should take into account all alternatives of the problem in hand and the related consequences to those alternatives. It believes in hierarchical structure thus strategic planning falls in the domain of the top management, operational planning is the responsibility of middle management and day-to-day decisions should be taken by supervisors or line managers.

Democratic process of Planning

Democratic mode of planning also appreciates that planning should be done ahead and favor the division of power. The difference between the rational and democratic mode of planning is the style and process of decision making and power structure. They differ on as to how planning should be done and who should be included in the phase of planning. Contrary to the rational approach, the democratic approach accepts cognitive limitation of human beings. Thus it is impossible to take into account all the relevant factors and their consequences. So, the democratic mode of planning goes for reasonability than the rationality. It suggests that strategic and operational planning must be done by consultation of all managers and operative core suggestions must be seriously considered before taking a final decision.

Laissez-Allar Process of Planning

Laissez-Allar is a process of haphazard planning. Laissez-Allar planning can be recognized by eight attributes: (1) It is not done on a long term basis and decisions are made an on ad-hoc basis. (2) There is less differentiation between day to day problem solving and planning. (3) Participation right is present but little respect is given to this right. Everyone acts according to his own individual interpretation of the agreement. (4) The formalization is neither exists nor accepted. (5) The action of the organization is usually late in time. There are rare occasions when the problem is anticipated. (6) Long misguided meetings with negligible results. (7) Lack of formal written communication and (8) decision making process is close to Garbage-Can.

Nadeem Yousaf

24 April 2011

Planning in Organizations