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Journal cover: Management Decision

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747
Incorporates: Journal of Management History (Archive)

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Strategic thinking versus strategic planning: towards understanding the complementarities

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Title:Strategic thinking versus strategic planning: towards understanding the complementarities
Author(s):Fiona Graetz, (Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia)
Citation:Fiona Graetz, (2002) "Strategic thinking versus strategic planning: towards understanding the complementarities", Management Decision, Vol. 40 Iss: 5, pp.456 - 462
Keywords:Leadership, Scenario planning, Strategic planning, Strategy, Thinking styles
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/00251740210430434 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:In an environment characterised by flux and uncertainty, a capacity for innovative, divergent strategic thinking rather than conservative, convergent strategic planning is seen as central to creating and sustaining competitive advantage. As the case study of Communications Co. illustrates, scenario planning is one tool that many organisations, committed to redesigning their strategic planning processes, are using with some success. However, scenario planning requires both left- and right-brain thinking styles. The elements of left-brain thinking reflect the planning side of strategy making, while right-brain thinking mirrors the thinking component of strategy making. The relationship between the factors that enable strategic thinking and the level of “emotional intelligence” of business leaders is also considered. The Communications Co. case findings appear to support the view that while strategic thinking capabilities can be nurtured and diffused through an organisation, it will need business leaders with a high degree of emotional intelligence to lead the way.

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