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Volume 7, Issue 2

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Volume 7, Issue 2

“What is Strategic Planning?” – An Assessment of its Dimensions through Definitions in Literature




Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies (SCMS), Symbiosis International(Deemed University) (SIU), NOIDA


Aim - The study aimed at identifying the most and the least frequent keywords and phrases, the scope of strategic planning definitions within the strategic management process alongside the timeline of these definitions.

Design / Methodology / Approach - The study applied "content analysis"- a qualitative research technique to analyse the contents of 41 strategic planning definitions collected from peer-reviewed articles available in Scopus and Web of Science Database.

Major findings- Out of the total, 22 definitions were given in the last two decades showing the popularity of strategic planning in the era of India’s entry to the global economy. From our content analysis, we found "Company”, “Process- Formulation”, “Objective”, “Performance”, and “Resources” were the most frequent keywords and “Changes", "Industry", "Nature", and "Category", "Core-Competency", Product and services", and "Importance" were the least frequent keywords among the strategic planning definitions. Further, we saw a majority of the key phrases were formed using a combination of frequently used keywords. Finally, nearly 63% of the definitions indicated the first stage (i.e. strategic formulation) as the scope of strategic planning.

Limitation, Implications, and Future Work- The study picked up a certain number of definitions available in the selected database and having the accessibility of authors to them. Hence, there is a possibility of having more such definitions that we couldn’t include through our approach. The immediate implication of this work is to initiate debate of defining strategic planning, and also to aware strategic scholars and practitioners about the misuse of this terminology. In future, we will explore the gaps in understanding of strategic planning (suggested vs practiced) and arrive at a standard definition of strategic planning.


Strategic Planning; Definition; Content Analysis; Strategic Management Model; Word-Families.

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