The participants in these meetings were the second

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Unformatted text preview: the company level, the executive committee would meet every one or two weeks. The participants in these meetings were the second level management, including Supervision and Planning, and the CEO. The main goal was to review progress on strategic objectives and initiatives, and work out how they had been achieved, if that was the case, or how to achieve them, if not. The link between unit follow-up meetings and executive committee meetings was provided by the second level managers. We have named this process in which strategic initiatives were monitored, and if necessary altered, “strategic conversation”. Finally, RACC’s strategic plan was not a dead end. The plan was seen as a guide for daily action. Thus, the organization was always ready to review aspects of the plan in light of changes in the environment or unforeseen events. This is the review stage shown in Table 1. Generally speaking, there were two criteria for reviewing the plan. The first was whether success or failure in achieving the objective was due to management having been more or less efficient. The second was whether the previous analysis had been called into question by unforeseen circumstances that called for a review. Reviews were conducted by two bodies. The first was the executive committee, which met every two weeks and examined the progress of the business and goal achievement. The committee would make corrective decisions and provide communication. By considering goal achievement, the executive committee could amend the plans in favor of the goals with the lowest levels of achievement. The whole plan was reviewed each year in light of progress. Yet, if at any time, even before the plan was due to be completed, the executive committee considered it necessary, it could encourage a new strategic orientation. The second body was more timely and nimble, better able to react with flexibility to changes in the environment. This mechanism could be triggered by any organizational unit that identified a contingency to be dealt with. Likewise, any unit could react to a market opportunity. This mechanism was neither ruled nor defined, yet it was available and had a known procedure, ingrained in organizational routines. It started with the unit forming a team, which would study the situation (“scratching”). Once a possible solution or action had been identified, the unit head, who would be a second level manager, would take the proposal to the executive committee, where the final decision would be made. Thus, the option to renew the strategic plan was always open. All informants agreed that the primary aim of the strategic planning exercise was not to produce a document but to influence the way people thought about the company. Any idea that might help to solve a problem or exploit an opportunity had a channel through which it could be directed, either through the head of the unit taking it to the executive committee, or through the mechanism described previously. Participation as a means to promote agreement and commitmen...
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