James Hulbert

International Diffusion of Corporate and Strategic Planning Practices

Coauthor(s): Noel Capon, John Farley.

Overall, the results produce a picture of relatively rapid diffusion of the practice of corporate and strategic planning, originating mainly from the practices of large United States transnational firms but also influenced by familiarity with central economic planning in some other market-oriented industrialized countries. Managers are perceived as generally favorable to planning, although not completely satisfied with their planning performance. The primary benefits of planning are seen as financial, for capital budgeting over the long term and managing cash flow in the shorter term. The importance of planning for developing longer term strategies and improvement of management thinking are considered less important, particularly among Fellows from the developing and Industrializing countries. It is also likely that planning means different things in different settings, ranging from forecasts and budget projections in firms where planning is relatively new to major conceptual analysis of the basis on which the firm wishes to compete in more mature planning situations. In terms of diffusion patterns, non-United States Fellows acknowledge the impact of the planning practice of transnational firms on the skills of domestic managers. Some more "advanced" approaches to strategic planning have penetrated practice in many countries, apparently with the transnational firms leading the way. While United States firms have in general managed to retain their technological edge over foreign competition, in part as a result of both patents and advanced technical skills, this lead appears to be less in the diffusion process of managerial technologies discussed in this paper. The wealth of published articles and management seminars and the international activities of leading consulting companies as well as executive mobility have contributed to fairly rapid diffusion.

Source: Columbia Journal of World Business
Exact Citation:
Capon, Noel, Johh Farley, and James Hulbert. "International Diffusion of Corporate and Strategic Planning Practices." Columbia Journal of World Business 15 (Fall 1980): 5-13.
Volume: 15
Pages: 5-13
Date: Fall 1980