Salo, Markku (2006)
Tampere University of Technology
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Due to rapid changes in the current business environment, there has been a lot of discussion about the role of and the need for strategies, strategic planning and strategy processes in companies. This thesis focuses on how information technology can support strategic planning in a more efficient way, whether strategic planning can be partly automated and whether questionnaires can be used in this process. Furthermore, we explore how strategic work in companies can be improved with the proposed bottom-middle-up methodology and a new supporting software tool enabling to avoid some fallacies of strategic planning Several research strategies were reviewed, after which a solid research construct was created. With several case studies the construct was then verified and validated. This particular method was selected due to the nature of the managerial problems encountered. The main goals were to improve the case organizations strategy process and to analyze the role of middle management in the successful implementation of the strategy. New technologies were also studied and applied. Furthermore, the relationship between intuition and analytical tools has also been investigated. A computer application that comprises of several components made it possible to capture the intuition and experience of individuals in the case-study organizations. The results have shown to support the view that companies which follow strategic planning cycles obtain good financial results, due to the commitment of the organization to a particular vision or target, as well as due to the improved implementation of the strategy. It has also been shown that certain fallacies of strategic planning can be avoided with the developed approach and application. The results also support the fact that strategic planning should not only be a top-down process, but also a bottom-middle-up process in which the versatile expertise of the organization is captured. This work has created a methodology and computer application to bridge the existing gaps between organizational levels and systems. The time spent on strategic planning has been reduced, whilst the strategies have been made more up-to-date.Keywords: Decision Support Systems (DSS), Executive Support Systems (ESS), Intuition, Knowledge, Strategic management, Strategic Planning, the Strategy Process, Woven Strategies
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