The development of a generic model for strategic planning for small and medium manufacturing enterprises in a turbulent environment

De Beer, A. J. (2000-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Continuous change has become one of the major characteristics of the South African manufacturing environment. Such an unstable dynamic environment, where continuous change is a normal occurrence, necessitates an appropriate response in order to regain or sustain competitive advantage. The environment is changing so fast that most small and medium manufacturing enterprises barely have the ability to survive the day-to-day challenges, without even seeing or thinking about the real challenges of surviving in the future, and more importantly, not only surviving, but actually prospering through these new challenges. The conventional approaches of strategic management do not satisfy the fast decision making requirements of today's organisations. The development of the different schools of strategic planning clearly shows how the strategic management process has developed with the changing times. One of the enduring problems facing the field of strategic management is the lack of theoretical tools available to describe and predict the behaviour of firms and industries. The fundamental problem is that industries evolve in a dynamic way over time as a result of complex interactions among firms, government, labour, financial institutions and other elements of the environment. These interactions are strategic in the sense that decisions by one party take into account anticipated reactions by others, and thus reflect recognition of interdependence. Existing models tend to assume relatively simple linear relationships without feedback. Chaos theory, which is the study of non-linear dynamic systems, promises to be a useful conceptual framework that reconciles the essential unpredictability of industries with the emergence of distinctive patterns. To understand the relevance of chaos theory to strategy, industries need to be conceptualised as complex, dynamic, non-linear systems. A basic strategic planning model was developed, incorporating some aspects of chaos theory, containing the following basic elements: vision, environmental scanning, strategic objectives, measurements, strategies and performance evaluation. The final aspects covered are some aspects of strategy implementation, concluding with some final notes confirming that one of the main reasons for strategic assessment of the organisation's situation is to exploit possible advantages from external, discontinuous changes and so gain first mover advantages by surprising the 'enemy'. To cope with chaos, a quickly responsive, organic corporation needs to be crafted.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Een van die hoofkenmerke van die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse vervaardigingsomgewing is voortdurende verandering. Ten einde 'n mededingende voordeel in hierdie veranderende, dinamiese milieu te verkry en te behou, verg besondere vaardighede en innoverende tegnieke. Die meeste klein- en mediumgroot-ondernemings bevind hulself midde-in hierdie vinnig veranderende omgewing, waar hulle nie net daagliks moet oorleef nie, maar ook die uitdaging van langtermyn oorlewing die hoof moet bied. Ongelukkig vorm langtermynoorlewing en groei dikwels nie deel van meeste ondernemings se beplanning nie. Konvensionele benaderings tot strategiese beplanning kan nie meer die moderne onderneming se behoefte aan vinnige besluitneming bevredig nie. Die ontwikkeling van die verskillende denkskole oor strategiese beplanning toon ook 'n duidelike beweging in die rigting van sneller verandering in strategiese bestuur. Een van die probleme ten opsigte van strategiese bestuur, is die gebrek aan teoretiese modelle om die gedrag van ondernemings te beskryf en te voorspel. Die onderliggende probleem is egter dat ondernemings oor 'n lang tydperk groei en ontwikkel as deel van 'n komplekse interaksie met ander ondernemings, asook met die regering, arbeid, kapitaal en ander elemente binne die bedryf. Sodanige interaksie is van strategiese belang, aangesien 'n spesifieke rolspeler telkens antisipeer watter impak elke besluit wat geneem word, op die res van die omgewing gaan hê. Bestaande teoretiese modelle impliseer relatief eenvoudige, lineêre verwantskappe wat geen terugvoer bied nie. Daarteenoor skep die sogenaamde chaosteorie, dit wil sê die studie van dinamiese, nie-lineêre stelsels, 'n konseptuele raamwerk met bepaalde patrone waarmee die onvoorspelbaarheid van ondernemings verklaar en beskryf kan word. Die relevansie van die chaosteorie vir strategiese beplanning en bestuur kan egter slegs begryp word indien ondernemings as komplekse, dinamiese, nie-lineêre stelsels beskou word. In hierdie studie is 'n basiese strategiese beplanningsmodel ontwikkel. Belangrike aspekte wat gedek is, is einddoel, omgewingstudie, strategiese doelwitte, meting, strategieë en prestasie-evaluering. Daar word ook kortliks gekyk na moontlike probleme om dié model te implementeer, met verwysings na die impak van chaosteorie op die tradisionele beplannings- en implementerings-modelle. Ter afsluiting word daar klem gelê op die geleenthede wat deur die snelveranderende omgewing geskep word, en die noodsaaklikheid daarvan dat 'n onderneming gereed moet wees om binne hierdie omgewing vinnig en effektief op te tree. Die kern van enige onderneming se sukses lê in sy vermoë om verandering raak te sien, geleenthede te identifiseer en onmiddellik daarop te reageer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51957
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