Strategic Planning as a Perceptual Process
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Planning is often viewed as a problem solving activity, as something applied to a series of conceptually distinct problems to yield solutions to those problems. This paper takes a different view of planning, as an ongoing perceptual process which helps an organization understand and cope with its environment on a continuing basis. What the planners do, in this view, is not to "solve" the problems they address as much as to come to understand those problems and to communicate that understanding to decisionmakers and others in the organizations whose performance can be improved by it. The role of the planners' and decisionmakers' nonverbal internal understanding of those problems and of the environment which surrounds them is examined, and some of the implications of this view for the conduct and management of strategic planning are discussed.
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