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policy Sciences 4 (1973). pp. l27:Z53
3:) Elsesicr Scientific Publishmg L: i)n', ~33n'›, .Amsterdam-Primal in Scotland
If Planning is Everything, Maybe
Grivriirruu' Scñtvui' q. " Pi›E›. "!i' Puhcji. i'_~'rvi: 'sr; i'! _'r of Cirhzkvrriia. Berke/ Líl'
Where plawningr_ does not : Iierisure up t-: › expcctatzoiis. WhiCh is ; LITÍTÃHÍ c'. cr_"~~hcr: . plmnurs ; ir-c
Íílndjv iirgcis, They have bccn too SMbLIÍC or thiry turu no: bei-n : inibiiicaus cnouglt. Tinta hm:
;ieiaertcd their calling: by entering into ; Culllcu or : hey haxc bccn : nscnsitivc : o thc political
iiJlãcnLslílns ol' : iicir : ask "1 nc: : icrnorc national cultural ; nc-rss ai Ill-sir pcril cr lhrv cap-itulnzc to
i» 'ld furou ol' irrçizzonçifiiyz Tha: - DJ) too nturlt . iztcrtiiiñw to rlic rcliiionslnp t* ”' een iene- sector
nr Inc : :ITI"i~JH1§y' 311d lnülhcr* while : gzloring LHZJij-f-lh in-. lixzdunl pri); m' the: : aocnd sn much
tirin- on specific maitcrs : nat Iñcy : irc ; inablc ro : :cal nvuh mouiticitis ol' LIC sconorn; :ts . .4 ultolc.
PZJDHCÍS ; nan no longer define s. rol: foi ihcztisclxcs. From olil American cirzcs n; Br: : sh new
LM» 1:». fforn i'm. - richcst cüuntrics to ihc adorei-I. planners lime diñicuÇln' in : xpluining 'who the;
Jr; 1nd '= .'~h. LI '. Í'cj-' shoud by cxyiclcd ! U (lo. Il' the; ;rc suçpiiscd : o cioct-QT : :ck guçlgzics_ thc
¡Numa! :cw: seem» : n gci w: .. Wh', «Ler-ft the p . lZlllClS : :ter su-: m iii do lhc righ. .. iingT
Tlze plunner has become the victim ot'
planning; :ismown creation 'nas uxerwhcltncd
l-. im. Planning hílS become so_iíl_rg_rçgti_lal__lilç plannçr crqtnnot cneonttmnss its dimensions.
Tlanning ? us bgíñitciso complex planncrs Ctillnilí keep up with it. Planningvorotrudes
in so many directions. the plaíníierciin no lrgnger discern its shape. He may he
cconomist. political SCLCIIIJS! , snciologist. ;trchizect or scicntist. 'st the assente of has
culling-planning-escttpes him. He ñnds it everywhere in general and nowhere in
Particular. Why is planning so clusive i?
The concept of planning stands between actnrs and their societies. It conditions the
'way they perceive social problems and it guides their choice ot” solutions. Thcir
understanding of planning helps them to choose the questions they ask and the
answers they hnd. lt leads them to cuiluntc their experience. including their ; attempt
to plan. in ccrzuin vays ratner than Clíhtfa. The diliiculncs the) experience n¡ saczcty*
are related to their understanding of thc mechanism-planning-thcy believe WI" help
them solve its problems.
Mcn think through language. The); can hardly conceive of plienontena their 'words
/W IÍJJÍU/ h ui' 1:» wfinr. u. t. ; 51mm' eu , u(t'i'. 'u'L't'lt'i't'li't' I
c-. tniiut express. The ways in which men think about planning ; itTcct how they act
just as their attempts to plan ; ttTect how they think about it. Thc problems they have
with the word mirror their problems With the world.
Planners begin by ; ittempting m transturm their enxironment and end b); being
absorbed into it. This pztttcrr: of : Iiilurc is tiiost exzdcnt in the poor CQLHIIHCS of thc
J-'orld xxhere glittcrin; promise h. is heen replitced by discuurzigzng perforniiincetí
Not', despite the high economic grifnvth, .tre the results different ; n rich countries;
brtetexamination oftwt) critical cas: : *France and Japan-will show they also do not
tollotv thcir plans or iiidkc ; zood on thctn when they do. Planning tliils cierywhere it
has been tried.
HOW cçin ih: s he l' The rt-. zsnzihle mnn plans ahead. He seeI-; s to md future cvils
b: : anticipzating them, Hs : na : c nntuir: 3. marc dssirsfñle Future ttorking toxurd it
in the present. Nüllllllj? , seenis more rcttsonttbl: : than planning. .And that is where the
problem herjins; for il' planning is rcasüll. then reasonahlc people nitist be for it.
A rcusonuhle ; iuthiir ; iddresxiitg . l rensonnble render CJHDÔÍ he oppnxed to rcgson.
l> it irrtiti-: ttttl to dbSCnl from this pcisitiiñn . '
Ore ; Und question dcserxcs . incitltcr Luan it lv: rutiunt-. l to tuil Í Not'. .inu-ane ; nn do
the hcst he . inn _and süil no: snsc-ecc Suppose. honwcxcr. trtnt 111.' tI-. ttiires of plnniting
; irc nu'. pcrLphCrLtI nr . iccidentçil 'mit integral : o : its 'it-ty rittttirc. Stippose plunnzng: as
presenily -eonstitutcd cannot xvork : ii the enx= irciiinieiit in which it is supposed to
function_ ls it irrationzil to cntcrtniii this' hjrpothesis Í ll' it is irr. «.tití›n. il to purs-. ic any
h)piñll'it“. íl: â tlmt ÕOC: not confirm the r. tti-: .in. tl nuttire at' planning_ th-: :i ; ou . tre . thout
: o ITAÚ . an ll'l. 'i'. lt'lñ. 'il Cíàl).
Planning as Future Control
PFLLÇHIILWIIUFS . tnd uudents of pltiriiiizig lute gixcn the 'ixurd cnuntle-«s inscrpreiçitinns_
Ewn writcr. it accms. feel: compelled to retlctine the concept. And l . im no SÇ: TplI0n.
Por 'the : cwitiisieiii resulting tmn¡ llÍlw ÊHÍÃIÍIIC Tc-'rver ot Babel : iiipiiigew . .in the pmctice
ut' pjiwninz' Him does un: evaluate . a phcnnitienon 'wneii there h little . agreement
; tbutit 'shut ; t is . ' lrlox'. can one 5.23.' that planning 1.x good or had nr in between 'when
: here ; tre no ucccptcd criteria for determining degrees ot' success or failure 'f Judgement
. if the performance of planning rcsts upon the nature of the expectations it JTOUSCSÇ
. md thcsc expectations nuturully x 31') Hlh thc definition one ; idopts ll' phnnirtg is
designed to make g-: uils COlblblcnl on pdpcr, nnc uuuld judgc it quite ditlerentlj. " than
it' its purpuw lS actually' to aclncxe social goals in the future.
Planning is the attempt to Control the consequences of our dCUúllS. the more
consequentes we control, the more we have siicceeded in planning. To Lise Sülllcwha(
ditlcrcnt language. planning IS the iihility* t0 control the future by current acts. instead
of discoxcring his ! lite in the future. man plans to make it in his own image. But the
present ma) be rcluctant to ; me birth to tltc future. Man can . itteinpt to plan . ind he
can tliil As St. Pau¡ put it in his letter to the Romans, "l do not *understand rn) own
*This cssau ls : i iexised 4nd ezpnnded Cfê or. u? " material ; ippcanng in Naum: (->]ld'§: :) . md . Uron
t , , _ w , - . - a . . . , , ,
Wildauk¡ Â Contran! Qhanlitj; a¡ Tears” Piti/ zriini' and Bunge/ mg m Pam ( IJHIJÍFIHÉ t1 nc Iucnneih
Century Funai, torthcuniingl.
ÍhJh'H'li'l1Í [ãxoliizion qfSrriitcgiiit" Â! (JIl(I_l3(*Ill('Ill' l
actions. For l do not do what l want, but l do the very thing l hate. . . . l can will
what is right. but I cannot do it. For l do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not
want is »what l do. " Vhilc man has helped cause these unanticipated events, he has
not consciously intended (that is. planned) to bring them about. We must distinguish,
therefore. between attenipts to plan and actual success in planning.
Attempts to plan are no more planning than the desire to be Wise may be called
wisdom or the wish to be rich entitles a man to be called wealthy. Promise must be
digniñed by performance. The determination of whether planning has taken place
must rest on an assessment of whether and to what degree future control has been
Planning must not be confused Wllh the CXlSlCnCe ol' a formal plan. people called
planncrs, or an institution lhenceforth called the planning Commission) with the word
planning in its oñicial title. Formal plans are only one possible manifestation of
planning. .since planning may take place outside of formal planning organizations.
The distinction here is between a written and an unwrittcn plan. No one today' would
claim that the British do not hate a constitution (rules specifying the procedures for
exercising political power) merely because theirs is found in legislation and custom
rather than in a single document like that of the LJnited States. Perhaps the existence
ol' a formal plan suggests a greater commitmcnt to the objcctives and the subordinate
goals in the plan than one would expect in the absence ot' such a visible public docu-
ment. This question should be ICSOlYCd by observation rather than by deñnition.
certainly the absence ot' a. Bill of Rights in the "unwritten" British constitution does
not rcxeal a lesscr commitment to due process or democratic procedure than America's
formal statement in its Constitution. ln like llldnncr, it would be wrong to say that a
government that consciously improved the conditions of its people and increased
their ability to live productivc lives was not planning because it lacked the formal
appuratus, while another government whose people suñered in these rcspccts was
planning because it had a plan and planners.
lt is tempting to identify' planning with government owncrship oi* industry. Then
the government is directly making decisions for the entire economy, and that would
appear to climinate the difficulties of plan implementation caused by a recalcitrant
private sector. The decisiotis that are made, however. may turn out to run counter to
the plan. Planned decisions often have unplanned conscquenccs. lt would be mor: :
accurate to say that these goxemments attempt to plan but do not necessarily' suceeed.
1:' success means controlling the future direction of their society through a pre-
determincd series ol' actions. Achievement and not the plan must be the final arbiter
ol' planning. Otherwise, planning exists because there is a plan, no matter what Fate
has in store for it.
We want a definition ol' planning that will enable us to compare the efficacy of
dilTerent ways ol' achicving control over the future. We want to bc able to say that one
process or strategy or social structure is better or worse in enabling society to move
in the direction it chooses in the most expeditious manncr. Central direction of the
economy, reliance on a price iticchanism. deyotion to traditional culture, emphasis on
; igriculture and small industry, any and all bases for action may be judged by their
conscqueiices so long as none are identified as planning itself.
vjga¡ ' 'r -_ y ~. ÍA
l 86 Historical lí'. nhuiurt nf Strategic: .S-Irznrigemenr l
A definition based on attempts to plan-planning as a goal-directed behavior-
leaves open the question of whether the actions involved have resulted in the kind of
future control cnvisaged. By deñning planning according to its inputs (dilTcrent modcs
of trying to control the future) rather than its outputs (extent of future control) the
element of direction is removed from planning. Such a definition might be appropriate
for those interested in different stylcs of decision for their own salte but not for people
concerned with appraising purposeful social action.
For ifa deñnjtion covers all attempts to plan, whether they succeed or not. planning
cncompasses whatever men intend to do in the world. Since practically all actions with
future conscqucnccs are planned actions. planning is everything, and nonplanning can
hardly be said to exist. Nnnplanning only exists when people have no objectivos, when
their actions are random and not goal-directed. If everybody plans (Well. almost)
it is not possible to distinguish planned from unplanned actions.
A definition of planning based on formal position-planning is whatever planncrs
do ts useful if one ivishcs to examine the &CIÍHIÍCS of people Ylttit occupy* these
places. But . i formal dciiniiion rules out on a priori grounds the likelihood that
; ihility to control the conscqucnccs of current actions may bi: more xvidely' diffuscd in
society. The question becomes not "who in society succeeds in planning? " but "how
successful are formal planncrs in planning? " The planners are the : ictivc element,
their society thc pussixc beneñciaty of their efforts.
Planning is often usctl (though this definition is rnrcly' made explicit) as ifit xvere
cquiiiilcnt to rationality'. Once norms ; issociated with rational action ; irc identified-
ClTlClCllCjJ. consistency. CO0fdlfl3llOn"íin)›' process of decision may be appraised
according to the degree to WhlCh it conforms to them. The assumption is that following
these norms leads to better decisions. Defining planning, as applied rationnligv focuses
attention on ; tdhercncc to universal norms rather than on the conseqiienccs ofacting
one way' instead of "another. _Attcntion is directed to the internal Ctuatlillcs ot' the
decisions and not to lllcll' cxtcrnitl clTccls.
The confusions surrounding the meaning ofplanning may have Lt social cxplanatiott.
Unabic to control the future. planncrs have rcsistcd any other definition that would
brand them as failures. After all. no one else is forced to make public predictions that
rarely' turn out right. Planncrs want credit for their aspirations. for . i noble elTort, so
they grope toward a definition that stresscs the activities in which they engnge or the
processes through which they ivork. Exhibition displaces power. The focus of meaning
can then shift from events in thc world to their own exemplary behavior.
These dCÔÍllÍlOTIS Llrc not mcrcly different ways of looking at the same thing. They
are not just words. They imply different standards for planning and they' direct our
attention to different phcnomena. To deñne planning as future control, for instance.
docs away with the distinction between draxving up plans and implementing them.
setting goals and achievmg them. The objective and its fulfillment : tre part of the
same series of actions? Scparating goals from achievcments, as most dcfinitions do by
cmphasizing intention over accomplishment. blurs the distinction between planning
? - Sec JetTiey L. Pressman and Aaron Vildavsi-tjs, Implementation (University: m' California Press,
H istoricirl Evolution of . Sãrurrg ic illaoiagenrcvnt I 187
and Other purposeful behavior. Hence planning becomes a self-protecting hypotltesis;
so long as planners try to plan, it cannot be falsiñcd.
In order to understand the implications of thcsc rival deñmtions, let us consider
xvhat is involved in the statemcnts about planning made by practitioner and thcorist
alikc. Virtually everyone would agree that planning requires: (l) A specification of
future objectives and (2) a series of related actions over time designed to achieve them.
We can now try to discover in general terms what is entailed by national planning.
Planning as Cause
We can say (beginning with the implementing actions) that the ñrst rcquisitc ot'
national planning is causal knowledge: the existence of theory with at least some
eudence to support it specifying causal relationships. lfX and Y are done, then Z xixill
result. If the consequenccs of contemplated actions cannot accurately be appraised,
spcciñed olvjcctivcs “Iii 'oc achieved only by accident. The ttecessity' for causal
knoxvledge is niade more stringcnt in long-range planning because the consequcnces
of each action become thc basis for the succeeding steps. Each error in prcdictton is
magniñed because of its impact on future decisions.
lt will help il we spccify the kinds of causal knowledge planning requires: a
knowledge of the relationships in each of dozens of areas of policy from risheries to
foreign exchange. These relationships may be further subdixtided : ( l) interaction among
thc elements ofthe policy itself, t2) inccntixres for the people involved to carry out the
rwolicy' or mechanisms for insuring compliance, (3) suilicient resources at the time
required. ln agriculturc. for examplmknoxvledge of thc elements of the policy itself-
the technology of production, thc mechanisms of distribution. the availability' of
: narkets-must be right if the policy is to work. Ifthe farmers will not plant the crops
called for or ifthe prices do not bring them sufñcicnt remuneration. they will sabotzige
the policy. either overtly or through pnssive resistance. If there is insutficient money
for seeds or lertili7er or ifthe farmer lzicks the education or the motivation to employ
the necessary techniques. the policy will fail.
Even if good theory exists somewhere in the world. people in a particular society
must bc able to apply it in the specific context of their own country. Yct knowledge
of how to apply theory is often as weak as thc theory itself. Social circumstances may
make a mockery' of general principles. There may be few men who an: capable of
utilizing existing theory for practical purposes. Where causal theory is absent or
imperfect. where applications are poor or itonexistent, where personnel to carry out
policies is lacking or badly trained, the preconditions of formal planning cannot be
Yet we have not begun to exhaust the requirements ofcausal knowlcdgc. Not only is
it required in each important area of policy (nc-tually' it is also necessary to know which
areas are important). but among areas of policy as well. Energy policy, for example,
cannot be pursucd apart from transportation. industrial and agricultural policy. The
major consequences of each se: of policy decisions for other areas of policy' must be
known; if they are not, some objectives will be achieved at the expense ot' others or
none ofthe objcctiycs will be achieved. Scatrcc as causal theory is within specific areas
las. " Hrrriirti th¡ If'. .ulzilii 'll i'_. ' Slritrri; tt' . Wtirtitct iitrrtt Í
ofpolicy', it is supcrabundant compared to the lack of knowledge ofintcraction effects.
There art: no useful models of economias as : t whole; either they contain so few
variables as to be too general. or they Contttln 50 many thai one cannot understand
what goes on inside them. lct alone in the World to which they are supposed to refer.
lf CCOllOmlC theory is Wüilk, theorics ot' society involving human motixation and
lllccnlil-'C are brtrely' alive. The provtszon ol' information itself is dependem on cultural
norms. political support and ndministrzttiwe practices that usually work in the opposite
direction. Thus the lack of theory' means thztt one often does not know xvhat kind of
information to collect. and. in any event, it would probably not be . ivailable.
Causa¡ kntmlcdçc is ; tlso necessary' to relate the policies ot' thc llÇlllOll over time to
ci-. ringes in the international ccuiznmy' ; ind political systems. Low income countries
are especzalljt' »ulncraible to ilucttiations ln tl: : price ot' imports and expnrts and in the
xvillingness ofprevious donor nations to supply aid Should the plan require a certain
amount of foreign Currency'. it can câblly disintegrute if commodity prices drop,
imports rtst'. and foreign aid disappcars. There are no good pfCdlClHC models of
intcrntiticinal prices or of uillingness to supply . ud.
National planning DTUHÚCS a hard test of cttusttl knoxs-lcdgc Men. resources and
Zi'. ›Ílll. 'ÊltÍlUS must be mobilizcd and related to one another : tt sttccessive stages in time
in or 'cr to obtain predicted results thnt lead : o thc achicrerrtent OlObjctíltlrCS. Nothing
ICM than control of the future i3 inuolved.
Anj- rcgitnc. whether it professcs to lote planning ; and ciishrincs the , alan in its hall
of time. or uhether it reiccts formal planning cntircly. plans to the extent that it can
control : :s future. Planning takes piilft' »then people in . a society . irc iible to cause
tüflztqucllCcW they desire to occur. Planning is. therefore. a form ot' jUÇlÇli Cilkhllllün.
It requires causal knowledge und thc . ibilizy to xvicld lhftl knowledge clfectivcly in
›0Cli'[_'. Power and ¡iltinninç ; tre different xtxtys ol* looking ; it the . szimc events.
Planning as Power
Power ts the probçihiiits' ol' : :tangzng thc bchauicir ot' others ; igtinst oppositionfi
As soon as the prexalci-. ce of dásaçrcement over social goals nr policies is admitted
into thc discussion, it becomes clear that there can be no planning vithout the : ibility^
to (mins: other people to act dilTcrcntlja than they otherwise would. Planning ; tssumcs
power. Planning is púllllcs.
Power is a recíproca! relationship. lt depends not only on vitat one actor can do
'out on how the other releaant actors rcspond in turn. A group mu) decide not to
attempt to realize its intentions because doing so would use up resources that might be
better employed clscwhcre. Or its etTorts may fail because others lack the ability to
carry out their instructions. The wielders of power : tre restricted not only by the limits
? Sec Andreas NlcFirLind_ Pau” um¡ L, -¡¡¡, v'g, i,›'; ,¡› ; n Plant/ ist Siri'. -n: .i (Stinfortl, Ciliforniu:
Stanford Lpixersn) Press_ Wêhít); Herbert Simon_ . trojan n/ 'J/ .qn (Next York: Wiley. ¡957›; John
Hursnnyi. "hlcasttrcmeni of Scan¡ Power. Opportunity Cusls, .md the Theory of Two-Person
Bartwitning_ Ciartics. " Be/ iaiiurni' Science, Vol. Vll (Jan. l962I. pp. 67-30: Robert Dahl, "Postem"
International' E/ ttjltxiiipctitt¡ . if : hr Slurrat' Suse/ tus (Nr-ns York Zncaiillutl . rtd Frei; Preta». W631.
Vo', XII. pp. 405415; James . March, “The Power ot' Poucrf' in Dtvid EJSIOH, ed. . Vt-: riivie-. r of
Pdmfüíi¡ 'HINU ! Tngiuwood Cfitf». NJ. . Prentice-Hall_ N66). pp 19-70
Historical E» oluliort ofslralegic . Mauagrttnc/ z! I I 89
on their own resources but also by the capacities of the respondents. Power must be
viewed in its social context!
Planning requires the power to maintain the preeminence of future objectives in the
present. The nation's rulers must be able to commit its existing resources to the
accomplishment of future objectives. If new rulers arise who make dreistic changes in
objectives, the original plan is ñnished. The continuity' of the regime, ol' course. is one
of the more problematical features of the poor country. Its unity may crumble. its
devotion to original objectives may be undermined from within, and its ability to
command the nation's resources may be dissipated through disagrcement. Either the
rulers must stay in power long enough to accomplish their original purposes or their
successors must be people who share the same commitmems.
Ifplanning is to be more than an academic exercise. it must actually' guide the making
of governmental decisions. Governmental actions (and the private activities they scck
to influence) must in large measure conform to the plan ifit is to have practical effect.
lanning, then. at any point in time, inv-olvcs governmental decisions on resource
allocation. A theory of how planning should be done, therefore. would bc a theory of
governmcntal resource allocation over timc. Planning theory becomes a theory of
successive government btidgets. If wc substituto the words "what the government
ought to do" for the words "ought to bc iii the plan. " it becomes clear that a normativo
theory of planning would have to include a political theory detailing what the govern-
menfs activities ought to be at a particular time.
To plan. therefore, is to govern. Planning thus becomes the process through which
anxiety' makes its decisions. [fone takes ; i narrow view of politics, only . icts by otTiciiil
government bodies are planning acts. A broader view oi' politics would include all
. icts, whether ostensibly private or public. that have substantial future impact on
society'. To plan is to make decisions that iiHcct others. Plunners are presidents,
TTIIHÍSÍCTS. burcaucrats, party leaders, scicntists. entreprenetits-anybody' shose ncts
have large future consequences.
But the act of governing need not necessarily' involve planning; intentions in iictions
may be unrealized. Political lcaders, like planners. may ñnd that they cannot control
the future. All may try but none may succeed. Planners and politicians may compete
: hr the right to attempt to plan but there may be no victor to claim the spoils.
Formal planners maybe viewed as rivais for control ofpolicy with other government
. igcncies and private groups. Can planners dominate these competitors? They can be
nothing ifno one listens to them. They may bc used by others but have no independent
force oftheir ow'n. Planners may also be everything. They may become the government
and exert most of the public force in their nation. Although planning theory some-
times suggests that this is the position planners would need in order to carry out their
purposes, and though planners in moments of frustration may wish they had this
power, it would be fair to say they do not envisage total control. The vision they have
of themselves is of a small but dedicated band that somehow cnablcs thc nation to
meet goals by bringing it to its scnses when necessary. They have in mind a regulator
role ot' the type found in cybernetic systems: :imidst a vast complex ot' machinery
there is : i small but sensitive device that returns the system to its true path whenever
* Hnrsanya_ 0p. rir.
N! ) Hiittiririi¡ Iii irliiriuii i›_, ".S'! ›^ii. 'c; ;ic ; ilimigtgitiiittiil I
it strays. By pusliing in the right direction nt critical times the sunt ot' the corrcctions
; idds up to nchiexentcnt at' the original goals. France and Germany' ntight well adopt
IhlS thermostatic x : cw olplanning. But poor countries require fnr more than occasional
corrccuon; they need large inputs ot' : :it-rey iii urdcr to build important components
of their systems Thtis plllllilcf: 'nlLÍlliUlC between thc thcrmostatic xiew, 'which is
more in accordunce with their pntcntiiii. :md the assumption ot' total power, which is
beyond their gritsp, when thc: small changes the): can LKILISS ; tre O'-"t? l". ~'l:3lll]fd by the
large ones ower which they hai: lilllc control.
The experience ot' formal planners ! tits u unzicrsul tinge. Lite ix full ot' small
COlTCCIlIDHS. Rcirely is it pttssible to pursuc objectives nn ; t onec-. incl-: kir-; ill bitsis.
Rclutivc success in Iiizcting goals depends tm new ; ictiuus in response to changing
circumsàzinccs. Learning. gidinstment. ;idaptation ; tre the keys lu zt-scuniplisliinent.
What happens to the iwricinul objectives 'when behavior changes in the light ot' new
Planning as Adaptation
Until nim I liÍHC : ak-cn fait' ggriizitctl thc existence ul' tuture unbjectiics. :with une nenrlxr'
labclcd : is il* the), came riut of ; i _great nklllülliii siiiisagre 'liílChiliíí in ¡ÉTÇ sky. They have
been usstimcd to exist sipiiieltijiix "out there”. The time hits crime to inquirc into th:
s-ctting of dltbjêClllids.
One WÇM : o tlstcrininc future «Jbicctzixs ts tn cttruptilute present trt-nois The ; will in
the future l) tu go whcrc tl: : siiciittjv 'Mis hcittlcd in . tnjx ant. The ser; itlcu ul' plcllllilllgl.
lto-rvexei'. :Jljígícbls thitt tiillc is lliil lcitmn tlirrigzs _eu ; im WhlCh tray_ 'out lRlClWÚllCS to
make them move in ri ditiereitt diretrtinn or lhster or slow-cr in thc sstme direction You
do not need a plan to _azct 'nau «there juin; aveia gillllll to be. Honv. then. ;tre new
object¡ vcs created É'
lt ruins nut that tlisrc . tre nn rules : Etr nittcrtniiurig nlvet: ti'~'cs The rule-s u: do huxv:
11H* rttsruirvt' nilitcalznti sfíictcncj. . pittrluruiizu Llxhlllílc thiit obicctircs ; JC glYUÍl
'These rule: spccifjv: .ir-l-_iqxt- it giucn nhíectixt' : :E Iokvcst um: .ir . lCl'tl: “-'. ' . is much ot' . i
_mit-n tibicctiie . is ptliwlhlõ fruit: J tixcti : imnunt OÍICSÚLIrÇCsL They posit rclittionships
'octixccn inputs and outputs: the; do not say 'what the outputs should be. other than
, getting the ttiost ou: of the inputs rclittcd tu them,
Suppose that 17.03 crnmcntal lETl(l: "r› virnplj. pick ginga se: that Llpfltills li) them.
What 'ukllltÍlLY should lie ; iccortictl IHCSC : :frite-cities . ' Th: : nbvicntis ; iiisiscr h that they
are iiuthnritaitixe il' set out by leiidcts *Aim will uttctnpt to . ichiex-e them. This ; itnounts
to saying_ that they are valid because the goiernmcnt says so. Yet_ the idea nt' planning.
Vllll its connotations ot' reason and intelligence. resists thc thought that objectives are
just stuck out there. Prcsumably' thc planners must relate these objectives in some
un); to the ttipitbilities ot' the nãllül) _is well ; is to the desires of its leudcrs.
An «sibjectixe may be dcsirzible but Linobniiniahic. The result nl' : cekiitg it itiay 'nc a
vastc ni' resources. Fidel (lastro publicly ncccpts blame for setting ; i quota of sugar
Cine *O itigh that Cutting went far past : ho: time and use ol' resources that »vera
economicully' Viustiñed. ? But no one knows what the right levei WOUlLl tsc. lt' álglllâ are
5 The' . Vir-v iítri: .Visitar. .lntiuiirjr lí, l')'›'l. l' *É
h-_. ..4_. _i. ; -. . . .___.
Hislofítral Evolution of Strategic . líarzagcrntent l 19!
set too lot-a, less may be done than desirable. If too high, unnecessary effort may be
devoted to the task. Like Goldilocks, the leaders would like to come out just right.
But that is too complex a task. So they simplify by allowing experience to modify the
goals they set.
The Soviet Unions response to this dilemma has been instructivc. The goals stated
in their plans are meant to be tar eis. Ifa particular sector of the economy achieves its
production goal. the standard is raised next time. Should the goal remain unfulñlled,
the people involved are drix-'en harder. Ifthey still cannot make it. the target is lowered
through negotiationf-i There may be an implicit Pavlovian theory of human . behavior
in this process, but there i5 nothing scientiñc about the setting ofobjectives. Essentially',
an arbitrary objective goal is set and then is modified with experience or sometimes
Another approach is to think of objcetn--cs as distant rather than near targets.
Leaders spell out their objectives and hope to achieve them sometime, even il' not in
the period speciñed in the plan. Some might call this utopian, but others would say
it represents a society going in a predetcrmined direction, though the pElCC of that
etlort is subject to change. Although this approach may be rcasonable, it subverts the
basic element ot' control which is supposed to ditTerentiate planning from just mucking
What is the point ot' saying that the setrengyear plan has bcen achieved in 22 months
ur that a certain industry has exceeded its quota or that it will take 9% years to
achieve some part of the ñve-; Jear plan 'l Presumably the idea of planning is that you
get where you : tre going when _vou say you xvill and in the manner specified. Can
it mean that ; vou get some othcr place faster or the same place slower and in a way
; ou did iiot anticipate? This is not a quibhle. lt goes to the heart of the idea of
What has happened is that the objectives and the means for obtaining them are no
longer tixed but have become subject to modification. The original set of objectives
and the plan that enibodics them are considered merely starting points. They are
altered on the basis ofexperience and necessity. A new regime, a change in commodity'
prices. discovery of a new theory, accumulation of changes in national cultural mores,
ntris* ; ill signify the desirability of changing objectives and the policies to implement
thcm . adaptation to changing circumstances is certainly a virtue ofthc intelligent man.
But it smacks of ad / ioc decisionmaking.
Vhên Planning is placed in the Context of continuous adjustment it becomes hard
to distingiiish from any other process ot" decision. By making planning reasonable it
becomes inseparablc from the processes of decision it was designed to supplant. One
plans the way one governs: one does the best one can at the time and hopes that
future information will enable one to do better as circumstances change. Some call
this adapti-e planning; others call it muddling through. Under thc criteria of adapta-
tion. almost any process for making decisions in a social context can be considered to
" _JUSCPh _Berlincn Factory : md . Manager in me L'. S.S. R. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
195-1). David Granick, The Red Executive (Garden City, NY. ; Doubleday. 1961).
19: Hixlnriçirl Iii . ilutil -ii ig! .YH-rttvicit' , Uimiigcrvtter/ il I
Planning as Process
One cannot, for instance. discuss dcmigcracjx lot' long Wllhülll Lising the terms goals,
ialternritives. appritisals. utczjcczixcs-zx? iz-: h JIC : t: t3:: Brent: : i_~talr: :._x. ›: -tr-tg c. ;i-: ter: :p«: ir. ›.ry'
dctinitmn of planning. l lllS suggests tits. : elCClOlal deitmcrsicy' iria: : hs considered : i
mode of planning.
"rhg United States docs not seek IO . zcíiienc : :Cali Slilltd : n ; i lldlliHlsil ; un Yet that
diji-Cs not mean ! hai : tie Linxed States. 11.15 no ¡Íütls ll> dcd-§oii: ~v«.1.crs try to
achieve. Tlicrc are ll1Slt[UllOnS~-lhC Fetlcral Reserxc Board. the (_'tj; :irc. l iii' Economic
_Àdvisera the Oñce 't' Xlartajgernent and Bldgti. Congrcszsrnrnil con: :n. :t; cs. ;Ind rrtor:
- uhmc Link is : ç . ir-d _ÍfiÍullS : and miitxtuirtaterrrt~u: v.1;. tha-rn Títerc . izi- qistitic. pieces
ÔllcgíóltlllLlll that JJ: : dedicated (O ! lili citzplnynent. ÊDÇÍIHÍÍ Fat' m Ílg', il. ."e: _' ri. : czTccis of
pollzitiiiirz. building firghiiius. cxpandin; TCLTCLlÉlUndl oppurturutic». ;'ii¡v: t›xiri_-': ;ign-
'ptllld Oil ; md on. When lhcwt 'tals ç'-irtl"ict. IÍÚW- 3.6:_ nr. : lÍíLJÉ-l
-. how irtucl: tilctch tu tr) : ti . =.; i.: ;'. c. lr. : : x1 : vlll_. Ç.f. ' _L
cultural pTt'ILltlL'! :*- . t
w-. il lzkc fzill
lx- IÍÍJLÍC tntzcciti:
cmpíut. tncnt : :taty ttüt lfiâ capable Ciftt-: iiicuctttciit brcauáu titsrc lS nu'. ri'iv§'ii1_? .?* ›»i'iv. '›'»*-l›: ilgc
: li .25 ir'i'F. -ci'. ri; ~i. :iiíit jnrur. "vit . t “xlnr: ox; r.
: o do ii or if-rÍZÇJlhC . it tizzrils çrzhei Crisis_
thus: : goals . irc rclatcd : u 'Jlíütlgif ix-'tji-: :tixea Tite Prenmnlv t: : : :ic Li t: ~~: .~'. ,.t. ›,-ti JlQÍCS
national gmdlb ; irzd the rcmítindcr pfCvcllls ; in institutional plan : Kir Liçliicuzii; thcrn.
'lhe goxerstiricn: ot' the United 5litlc> “Cclkb 10 . ichzcuc itizrrzcsir; pr. :~_~i'~; rir_-. ;ir-Li to
protect 27.5 rnterzsts (mexe-as Wild: :tres: íirtud ciluzstixe: r: :.. .i: .:': :l, l1Ill'1ÁI me
isrtermctliaze : ruils klLlñgC in rcstwnirxc : a forces : n scrçicg. ;
When he mis ; z student in the Cítj- Plzinning Depnrttncnt nf the Unncrsity' of
CJlll-Ornlti ; it Berkeley, Owen ÂlcShanc wrote . t paper nmking cxpltçit : iii: ~. ;t7t1l; trit: ::'
between phirtrtznf: tus lOLllld lil tire ringue. ? deicloped bj. Wut (Í3:. ir. nrri. ';: . ; ., "
T/ m . çlSlCl/ IS . iippr. :t«r7rh) : and Clcfiüfill dezrrocracy : is . a pruçcss : if Ílltlrxlllg' LfClSitÍJHS.
'htirchznan pmzulatcs that planning l: CÕnCCTlÍCLl xuzh rrziilti-siug: d-'ci-. v›irrr. il›ivüã
: itid "íiençc it : nus: study i'll . l dccrsmnrtmzker uxho 12'» cruus-. s. . rn ' ; tltcrnazixe
COLIFSBS of . ictiort in order to reach i3 certain llrsl-slÇtgc goals. '~vl1'. Ç”l lead t0 i4)
ullzcr-sh-_ge nñjcctivcs " “ It IS easy to psirallel this model in terms intel-errors. ; : lenmcmcyir
; is the operation of 1 2 l : Etc cleetorute xxhz-: h i3) chnaiáàss from n. group ct candidatas in
order tc» reach i3) certain tim-stage gmail». is inch lead to t--i th: irnpliçzi ; çxtls ut' the
sircicty at large.
Placing the . steps Çn each system side 'by side. .VcShJnc found : hat the electoral
process tiitcd Churchmans model 'with remarkahle : icety Enery step l1.: ~ ; in opera-
tional equivalent rn any electoral dcrnocrncy.
Similar compririsoirs could be made between the process of planning . and the
process of legislation ; md administration. Consider, for instance, a rcccttt description
of how public polic) is made: “Gcnericallyp uni: can identify . ii least <: dlllCfCnl
steps' in the process of making government policy -pubhcrzrng n pmbíem. riitiriting ti
secirclt Í-Er a StJ-lLlLOH enziuatin; .ilternittixe 3i, .'l. ;'_iv. jí*§, ÍE¡i"t'J: -.. "l¡' u. saíttnn n: ;L
combination of solutmnç_ inrplenzentzng the measures decided . upon. .tnd rinally',
West küurcl-. zixtn. The . Situ-nu : lppñtilfh IN-: A "York. Dekuozte Presx 195m. p. If-IÇV.
Íli, ii'i: »i<: ui' Iii ulttnur: o] . Strtttagics ; llunrigcmcnt I 
THE PL-NNING SYSTEÍÀI
program l : Lezitimacy'
Relationship between th: pltnning sgxtcm (PS. )
_md the decisiottmakes.
u) Justirícaticvn Why thc PS. shout-l exist
; md : ts role).
(Li) Siafnng the P S. and cstzblisrtinn responsi-
bility and authority.
ic) The Communication Subsystem
ii) Persuasion iseding thc PS. )
: iii lutuul education
: un iblitics idcnt-fying . mi changing the
; tower xlruclutc ot' th: : CIrgantLu-lion.
[gl ]'*.1r-'C. ".l: 'ilZÍl. JfÍllÍhÍÉlliTlRlhC plan).
Pronta ttt 2: Ana l) sis
lcistircmcnt Ilclcntiñciutm, clausiñciiiti-i,
¡1lflt. 'llt]ll. C(Ç. )
. aii ldêllllljiillíí' mc dccisioninuxers, ;md
Ctáicirfícfs of the large. - system.
Ibi Discownn; and invcnting : :ic ; àltr: :n;1ll': S.
I. i lt: cnttl'; .:ng1n. c tirststlige goals_
*du lccntilyzng : :tc ultimitc Çtbjccliwca.
ici Nlcasuring th: cticctixencss ol' catch
. Ltcintiziie ior : :ich first ; HPC mai.
ll) Álcasuring thc cticctixcness ul' each ñrst
strin- : goal for the ultimate ob; cctix~es.
w. - izsiiniztiii-g the optima! ;iitcmzitix-z.
Plfrírztm 3: Testing t Verifiing . the Plan)
i* *wvzulutitwn ; md parallel testing.
4h¡ Ccintrifíing the pian um: : implcmcntcd.
THE ELl-ZCTORAL DE HOCRATIC
Program l: Lcgitimiicy
Rclãllünsfllp between (li: cunstitutiott. clc. .
. izid the clccroratc.
m) Justirtçsticrt ig-thy ÓCHIOCIEIC) símuld
cms'. and li) role).
(b) Dcswning the Enslilutions of dcmccrac;
and cstablishing responsibility and authority.
(c) The Coznmunicatiit-n Subsyslcttt
iii) Pcrsuasion leg. the FCdClBltSl. ecc. )
ijli) Public schools . and mediu.
ii_¡) PoLtscs itunsiiiuitional amcndrtwcnts.
i3.) lmptvncntaton iscttng up tir: lllílliu-
: tum and operating Zlzcriil.
Program 2: Analysis
hlcuxurcmcnt tldcnttficxiticitt, classification,
ta) ltlcntiiyiing interest groups. setting_ thc
th) Sccctmg Candidates for oñice.
(c) Idziitifgmg and lobbyinrt for tírst stage
»imãs and DOlIC es,
ijd) llcntiiying the Ulllmllf aims ot' society'
lc Goal for . ant-cuentas. Bill of Rights, etc. )
(c) Asscsstng the Candidate and his policy'
(f) . Asscsszng thc crie-amenas ol' pokcics for
ultimate ob; .cctives leg. the Vietnam 'war as
protcctinçx democras', i.
ig) foting for the : sndicutcs of one's choice.
Program 3: 'Testing l Dae; the dfmfíffüff. ”
H um: : 7)
lis") (Íotnpatison Wllh othcr nations, scif-
appraisal by the citizcnry.
tb) Chccks . md bulances. news media.
public debate. the opposition.
cvaluatiiagz lht: cottscqueitccs of a ntcasurc. ” At this level of description thcrc appears
to l: : no significant difference between thc Unized States (and almost any othcr
government. for that matter) and socictics that engagc in planning.
When planning is conccix ed oías goal-directed behavior, almost an); decisionmaking
Process will bc found to contain similar elements. How then can wc evaluate planning?
Asking xx hat has bccn caused by goal-directed behavior is like rcqucsting an explana-
tion for . ill that has happcilcd. Il' thc process ofplanning cannot uscfully be scparatcd
from othcr modcs ul' choice, ihc obs-cn cr Will 'oc unable to attribute consequences to
"*_R«chr= _rc' Rust, "The íiiiçibiliiy oz' Party Gouetnitzent. A Theoreticai 1nd Enzpiticcil Critiquef'
Poi'. *!. n:a! .Studies tDec. 1969) ül. XVIÍ. nn 1_ p 415
ly. ; [hsrurtgtzl Iii l 'luna/ z u! .Srrurcuit . Uunttecl›zç'rztl
plgtnrting ! hat LlU nat also líslong to cither 'ways of making dcClblüná; :ts znents cannot
b: :hallcngcd b). future : u: : ts because the); all Itau the. : origin in someonck etlorts
to ; ccurc his aims.
lt' plnnning is to be ju' 53d by lí: C0l". '_ii'Lll. lSH'. 'SF. hy what ; t LlÇCkJmpllShCS. wc Inda!
rcttzzrt to the problem nt" uusulttz». What ltas pianning cquscd? What has luappcncd
(lllT-crcntlj- ÍTCULXELISI: ut : he presence at' plans. plnnnzrs and ttlttrzrnttg commicsittns than
would hms hdppvcticd '~-'›Í[l'. Oltt thcmí' Wlut. :n the esontrttisfs lnngtzngc. l* thc vzilu:
;added by plztnrzingt'
Exuluatiott of ; wL-. nziing is not pwsüttlc w long as it relcrs to : :icrc ctTort. Thu' 001)'
§p[_[(5§ng]ike regp-gijigi' [O f; runncr I'. "ii') liam' cn lllâ . ill. lS “ECHJÓ 71), ” Eipêildllfv'
it' he l'. .': SÍ_ülÍ~. '.'1Ç: [[lÍ$ tírst turn. 0h17. it" plintzirtg ! b dcfxicd to ntcnn complctcd actzon,
s: M' SUCÇSSS b: ;2ppra. .~ed.
. ichieving a s: : grill. ta. : IIS ICIJHRS dr*
lt' 'wc : :rc Vlllll" f. ? quite n.7rt; v›ii: -.l pigini: ing »with : t : brrtiçil twlan. :'. IS Düãíible to
así. ; uhezhcr il-_r- jrqe zeittinns speciied in it ltnvc bccn cirricd Oil. . ; md x-. hcther they
hit-g ; i-imc cliwcc tn _1ChlC'~1T'. _Z the tlcaircd mich. Euítltiçaíiñtí fil' frvrrtirtl planning depends
on t1i_-¡; ¡r; ; 1 . Çllltl link bt-tuccn intcntinn~ cxprrnssctí in t5;- nlan anti Future pc-rlc-rtnrtttcc
nl' th: : XTLlIJOH.
Planning as Intention
l liam: grc-»xlp sintplilicij ti: : prubltrt ut tlcciding; ". :: :"', hri^ lÍÍl. i'ñ¡¡IÍ«I1> han* 'rccn
carried 0:1¡ hj: pldttrtg il: ::: :i mhlclj. n. :lar: Iimvds nl planners : and . Hfllílílng that their
ÍHICRIKIÕII: .src Xíulllícíífd in th: - : iatiuttzl plítll. .lddgllig ¡tians ; md pLmz-. crs 13;. their
intciiiituita nc'xc'*líl'. i'lâ<ñ ha: : Strong ÂPÉCIICMÉK Th; - plLlfl itself : iris : he IHÊSIIiYLlÕlÊ
advantnç^ of ctizting in timc and space . md being Scpthitlílf rroin ttnthcr phenontcnrt.
The plan : pcul-; s ol* ; tcuírixzplisliittgc ctttiin tltingjs in specified 'J-'Llyx' Ltnd one can ; ask
whether' : Eicse lutiçr: stztzc< ot : xñliirs l'l. l“-': “ inttlced ÇOÍÍTC about. . Il tir-ç plan prcdicts u.
mu* o: 6C: ,Ç. 'I'it)IHlx_' groxvtli. sittpportcd ht tl: : dc-. cltvpmcitt nt cururu sçcnJrs ut' tl: :
economy. propclltd bg. xunuus l-rcf- pnyjcçts. onc um LhÇCflJlH l'. L'l. l1Cl' that nttc ltzízs
bccn aducwd. xvhezlttr the sectors singlcd ou( for special ; tttcnttrnt have groun in the
“uy spsciñcrl and xslzetlter projects hate been built andar: hringingzn thc rctttrns
that were clniitted tor thezn. T0 thc cxtcnt : hat thc planners . irc not inipmsihlj. »agua
abnt: : what thcy tzttend. and relatam'. JTIÍOTUKÇIIHJÚ is : tuilçible ; util . ICCUFJHC, the plan
ma) ht _iudgctt by th: : degrcã to xxhzch llS : :tteittitjvs have lie-en carried ont.
Yct the critcrian vil' íntentitmt ma; cxlgílâ. prove superhàui. Le: na íllppüÉC that a
plan has fazíed the zs<t ol nccomplishing the goals ser dcmn in it. How nnght one
cxplqin that ! Tiiltirç-'Í' lí' thc pfzin is- xzexwed . lS n ; crics nl prcdictinns. it i3 CHÓCIÍI the. :
Lhcy han: not come trLc. Yet calling ; t bad prcdiction : i : Ítilurc in an uncertain xx-'Orld
seems harsh. Á-Iore : o the: point would be a statement that the planners were Linnblc
to move the mttion in the dirsctinns they intended. The claiin um still bc iztaade,
however. that much progress occurred. even ifit fell short UF th: : : nitzal aims. Imagine:
a SÍILIJIIOH in which under Plan I ; x 4*; growth rat: : 'was postuLtted ; md only 3",
achieved. whtlc in Plçn; II a lD'“: _Â rate Was set out and onc ot'6”¡l, ;1cl'. icx'cd. Plan I »vas
mrirc succsssfui in th: - scnsc that the growth rate Came closer to the target. but Plan II
uva: mari: stiuccçmsttil in : .;; it tl: : ; zac-Lili nt: : of growth wa~ greater Amam: for the
moment that both lcxcls of grow-th ; tre rtttributnble to the plan. Why should one sct
líistoncal hiwtfiittori oj Slrcitegir: :llanctgtrmcrnt I l 95
of planners he criticized because of their higher level of aspirations if their actual
accomplisltments ; are greater? When the intentions in plans are not realized it ts
difficult to know whether this failure is due to poor performance or unreasonable
cxpectations. Did the nation try to do too little or too muelt 1° Were its planners over-
ambitious or tinderachievers
Planners : irc vulnerahlc. Unless they take the p ectttittiin of mitking their goals too
vaguc to bc tested. their failure is exident for till : o seu. 'They must spend their time
not in explainittg Blow they han-c succeeded but in arguing ; Away their evident failures.
A great deal can be learitcvd ctbout fulfilliztg intentions by iioting »what happens twit:
early optimism is replaced by later rsitinnzilizatiign.
When : i aenture rizns int-ti trouble there. ;tre n. number of classic »vais ofjustifying tt
without shmxtttg that ! às pcrforniniice: is actually hcttcr, The usual idCllC is to elaini
that the YCHÍLITC has not lseen tried hurtl eitough, tltrtt doing : non: of the same koílld
bring the results origtinzillg, entzsagsd. If the hombing of North Vietnam does not
weaken the Will of that government t0 rcsist. the answer : s evidently' not to stop but
to do nzorc of: : When the pci'. srt): programs in the Llnitecl States lead to disappointing
results. then the : tnsxver must be that not enough KB212105' has been pnured into them.
lt is ttluiiys tlifheul! to know whether th: : theory behiitd the proliet' is mistaken. so
thatt ; tdditioiial ellttrt wcniltl tutti: : tEir-_ixiing good n10.l16j-'¡1l<EC'l' bad. o: whether _greater
input of rescitirtx-s tvoiifd reach the CflllCãl irhis: : prcsiinted necessary' to make it
s: lCCCSF~. fLll Tlm: beâlllC 'zirgzintcnt is mailt- in regeird tn fi; ~riii; il planning: if only there
zvere itiorc effort. more dedituttitzn. izinre contniítiiíctit. things 'tvouíd be better. This
. trsttmcnl. limitou-sr. piesiinics on b-: h;ill“ nf formal ivliiniting precisei): what 'it is
sJZ' _ÍVlàcd to prove. lt" things axei: :is the; ixeie suprir-sed to be, plítlllllllg »would not be
lít. '-L'*~. tl“_" : u centre: them. The argument is reitiiiiisceizt of ; i przictitionens conimeitt
; thibtiz planning : irountí the tworld: ir. Russia. it ; s iznticrçttixe. in Fran: : it : s indicative.
4nd in poor CDLIHITICS tt ts subittncttxe.
'The iistiztl nazi). ofiustirpuig foi'n1;tl planning : n tl: : iibsençe of tor contrttry to thc
exidciice ; iboutt iteeciinplishinent is to shift the focus of discussion front goals to
process. The critic of plttrtnzng. it is said. has etidentlj: mistgiken the nature of thc
enterprise by ftictising in l-iis szmple-minded '›'¡l_~' on the intentions ofthe planners he
has itixsed the bencficzttl effects of the processes through 'which thc plan is made.
A. similar _argument : s heard about the Llnited States space program: it is not tncrely'
? Willing tétc rntpion but all thc wonderful things learned on the tvay up and down
. .f technological fallottt) thatiustify' the cost ot' the effort. Planning is good, therefore.
Tlút so. much for what it does hu: for linux' it goes iiboiit not deaing it,
The process of planning presumably incttlcntes habits of mind leading to more
rational choice. Oñiciuls ; tre sensitized to thc doctrine of opportunity' costs. to xvhat
must be given up in order : o ptirsue certain aitcrnntives. and to the notioit ofentciprise
as a producto: : force in the nations economy. Time horizons ; ire expandcd because
the future is made part of present decisions. Because of the existence of the plans and
the planners. data may ltave been collected that otherwise would not have been; men
With economic skills hate been introduced into government. Those who come in
contact t-. itlt these new nzen are said to benefit from their new tvays of looking . '.t the
World To ask how these spinorT benefits are made tangible would be to rem-cat m mc
Hixtoñcal Evolution of Strategic i! rinii_l? t"'¡t"¡¡ Í 19
This approach is basically' conscrvative. It takes for granted the existing distribution
of wealth and power. lt works With whatever pricc Incchdnlbm cxists. It seeks not : o
inñucncc many decisions at once but only a few. Now the Ordinary men who would
otherwise have made these decisions in lhc absence of planners also concentratc on a
vgry narrow area of spccializiition; they also consider : i : kw different wrays ot' doing
things; they also estimate thc probuble consequences in s. limited tvay, ;md thc-j. ” also
choose the altcrniitite triat . set-ms best under the circñintstarz-ses. B: : makxig plniinjiag
manage-able it appears xte hate made it índistinguishnblc troin Ordinary processes of
decision. Planning has been resctied by diminishing. ii* tint eniircly' tahlitertiting, the
difference between it and everyday' decisionmuking. Of what, then, do tht: .idvttnttigcs
of planning consistT'
Majuíte we hLF-L' tec: :
the IFILLCS of plsiiniiiiz. [Tfrlíílpi, is not in thc world but in thc ux-: ird Planning is good.
t( sccnts. because it l: _ntmnd to pLin.
Planning. : is not really defended foi' what it does but for What it svmbolizcsz Planning,
idcniifed 'nith rcrison, is conccired to be the »way in »which intelíigcncc is applied to
SCCZJ] problcms, 'lhe eITorts ülx pliinticrs : irc prcstinizibíy hcttcr : han Other peopleÍs
because they tcstill in policyi proposiils that : tre Syílêlllíxllt'. eiñcicnz. coordinnted,
consistent. and mtiotml. li is words like these that convey the supcriorits' ofplniiiiing.
'lhe irrtic of planning is ilizit ; t cmhtidtcs uiiivcrsztl norms ot' rtitional choice.
l' 'if-Ling : it planning tri the xvrong *Akljil “lhe plitce : o look for
Planning as Rationalíty'
1.171.: *T1 'nc-fi terms . ippeiir tíiwr ; iiid Okcr JtQLiin. plntiiiiiig is good hecxiuse it is . iimkviitiliif
rather than randtnm. (Éfñiieülf rather' than xvristeftil, wcirulivitirca' r-. ither thtin heltcr-
skcllcr. t't'JI. '.§i'. '›'It'IlÍ rtiiiicr ihun contiuitizctiiry. and nbioie Cl”. rz2ri'i_. ›i. vir/ rather than
iii: rct. ›oii. i§; ile. ln the ¡Illcrcal oi . ichiexiizg . t dccpcr : inderszcinding gif' xvhj, planning is
_nretcrretL it “ill 'oe ltelpftil : o cwnnszder these norms . is lnsIfLJÇtl-Yiñs to dccaiontnzilucrs.
IVÍIAI xxould the; do ii' the) followed them"?
Bu s'_rsti. -m-. iiit'f What docs ii mean to 5.1)* that decisions should bu made in u systema-
tic maiiiier"? A word like "cart-fui" will not do because planners cannot be prestimed
ici mUTC crireftzl thtin . ñíher pcDplc. Pcrriiips “ordcrhf” is better; it implies a checklist
i : ms to be : taken into . iccount. but ; inyoiie cttn mnkc ; i list. Being systcmntic implies
'Íriüer that onc knows the right variables in the correct order to put into the list.
and . .um specif). the relationship among them. The essential meaning of sytstematic.
:lzcrcic rc. is hming qtiialities cifri grstern, thai is ai series ol' variables whose interactions
are known and whose outputs can be predicted from knowledge ofthcir inputs. System.
therefore. is another uma for theory or model explaiiting and predicting events in the
? Call world in : i parsimoiiious way thiit permits manipulation. ” To say that one lS
being Syslcmatlc. conseqtieiitly implies that ont: has causal knowledge.
Here Wc have part of the answer we have been sucking. Planning is good because
inherent in thc concept is the possession of knowledge that can bi: used to control the
'~'~c«rld. KllúWlcdgc is hard to obtain; the mind of man is small and simple »while the
' Dom! J. Bcfinsk . "Sistema Analysis ', Lfrhm . tffiirrr çi: ii. riaii'_i_ Scptcritbcr 1970. '. no. l.
198 Historical Eva/ teria: : ofStraregir' Mauagenien! l
world is large and complex. I-Icnce the tcmptation to imply by a cover word possession
ofthe very thing, causal knowledge, that is missing.
Be efficient! There is in modern man a deeplja-rootcd beliet" that iolIlCCIÍVES Should b?
obtained at the least cost_ Who can quarrel with that? But technical eñiciency¡ should
never bc considered by itself. lt does no: tell _vou v. here to go but ünljr' that _vou should
arrive there (or part stray¡ by the least ctTort.
The great questions are: cñãcienc). for 'whom and for what? There are some g als
tdestroying other nations in nuclear war. decreasin-_z the living standards of the
poverty-stricken in order to beiierit the tvealtlijci that one dcies not msh aChicV-cd ut all.
lct alone emcicntly. Eñiciency, therefore. rziiscs once more the prior question ol'
One ot' the most notable characteristics ot' national objectives is that they : end to be
vagiie. multiple and contradictory. ncreasiiig national income is rarels' the only
social 'ob_1cCti'e. It hus to be tracled oil' against mon: immedittte consumption
objectives, such ; as raising the lit-ing standards of rural people. (jultural objectives
such as encoiiriiging the spread oi native languages and crafts. :nay hate to be
undertuken at a sacriñce of income. Political objectives. .such as thc desire to improve
racial harmony' or assert national independente. may lead to distribution olintvestment
funds to economically unprolitable regions and to rcjcction of certain kinds ol' foreign
uid. A great deal depends on which obisctixcs enter into nationil priorztics first.
?nec-ause- there is seldom room for einphasis on more than ; l leu
Stress oii efficiency assumes that objectives are agreed tzpon. (Íontlict is lrianished.
The 'very national unity to which the plan is supposed to contribute turns ou: to be
onc of its major assumptions.
Coordinate? COÚFÕÍHRÍÍOII is one oftltc golden 'words of our time. [cannot olliiand
think of any way in which the word is used that implies disapprowil. Policies should
be coordinatcd: they should not run crer): Which-ivay. No otte Wishcs their children
to be described as uncoordinaled. Man) ot' the xtorldÍs ills ; irc attribute-d to lack ol'
Coordination in government. Yet. so far as ue know. there has : iever been a serious
effort to ; analyze the term. lt requires and deserves full discussion. All that can be
done here, however. is barely* to open up the subject.
Policies should be mutually' supportitc rather than c-ontradictorj; People should
not work at cross purposes. The participants in an) particular ; ietivity should con-
tribute to a common purpose at the right time and in the right amount to ; ichiet-e
Coordination. A should fucilitate B in order to achieve C. From this Inlultlvc seus. : ot'
Coordination four important (and püáãlbljn' contradictorsj) ; nennings cart 'oe derited.
If there is a common objective. then efficiency' requires that it be achieved vith the
least input ot' resources. Vhen these resources : tre supplied by a number oi' diilerent
actors. hence the need for Coordination. they must all contribute their proper share at
the correct time. If their ; iCKÍOHS are eñicient. that means they contributed _ins-t what
they should and no more or less.
Coordination, then, cquals efñciency, which is highly prized because ; ichieving it
means avoiding bad things: duplication. oxerlapoing and redundtiiiey'. These are bad
because they result in unnecessary effort. thereby 'cxpending resources thai might be
used more ellectively for other purposes. But now we shall complicar: : matters by
Historical Evolution of Strategic . Management l l 99
introducing another criterion that is ("for good reason) much less heard in discussion
of planning. l refer to reliability', the probability that a particular function w-ill be
performed. Heretofore we have assumcd that reliability was taken care of in the
definition of efficiency'. lt has been discussed as if the policy in mind had only to work
once. Yet we all know that major problems of designing policies can center on thc
need to have them work at a certain level of reliability, For this reason, as Martin
Landau has so bnlliantly demonstrated, redundancy is built-in to most human
enterprises.1° Wc ensure against failure by having adequate reservas and by creating
sçveral mechanisms to perform a single task in case one should fail.
Coordination of complex activities requires rcdundancjv. Telling us to avoid
duplication gives us no useful instruction at all; it is just a recipe for failure. What wc
need to know is how much and what kind of redundancy' to build-in to our programs.
The larger the number of participants in an enterprise, the more difñcult the problem
of Coordination. thc greater the need for reclundancy'.
Participants in a common enterprise may act in a contradictory' fashion because of
ignorancc; when informcd oftheir place in the scheme ofthings, they may obcdiently
be expected to bchavc properly. lf wc relax thc assumption that a common purpose
is involved, however, and admit the possibility (indccd the likelihood) of conñict over
goals. then Coordination becomes another term for cocrcion. Since actors A and B
disagrce with goal C. they can only be coordinated by being told what to do and doing
it. The German word, Gleic/ tscltaltung. used by the Nazis in the sense of enforcing a
rigid conformity. can give us some insight into this particular usage of Coordination.
To coordinatc one must bc able to get others to do things they do not want to do.
Coordination thus becomes a form ol' coercive power.
When one burcaucrat tells another to coordinatc a policy, he means that it should be
clcarcd with othcr official participants who havc somc stakc in the matter. This is a
vay of sharing thc blame in case things go wrong (each initial on thc documents being
another ltostage against rctribution). Since they cannot be coerccd, their consent must
bi: obtained. Bargaining must take place to reconcile the differences with the result
that the policy may be modified, even at the cost ofcompromising its original purposes.
Coordination in this sense is another word for consent.
Coordination means achieving efficiency' and rcliability, consent and coercion.
Tclling another person to achieve Coordination, therefore, does not tell him what to
do. He does not know whether to coerce or bargain or what mixturc ofefficiency and
reliubility to attempt. Herc we have another example of an apparently desirable trait
01' planning that covers up thc central problems-conñict versus cooperation, coercion
versus consent-that its invocation is supposed to resolve. Planning suffers from the
same disability that Herbert Simon illustrated for proverbial wisdom in administra-
tion I" each apparently desirable trait may bc countered by its opposite-look before
YOU leap, but he who hesitates is lost. An apt illustration is the use of "consistency".
Be consistent! Do not run in all directions at once. Consistency may be conceived
n “J Martin Landau. "Redundâncy. Rationality. and the Problem of Duplication and Overlap",
r lfôlic Administration Reiíew (July 1969) vol XXIX, pp. 346-358.
'l Herbert Simon. “The Provcrbs of Administration? Public ÁdIlImfJf/ 'dfiün Review (Winter 1946)
Vol. 'l, pp. 53-67.
305) Hzlxlurtcul Ifiulitrtarrt u! .Strulwgic . Uurtrrçcnic-Ii! l
as horizontal (at a moment ll] time) or CHlCHl [over a SCHCS ; ufttrnc pcrionls cxtcttd-
ing um) the future). Yertuul constam-mcg. :cqzurcs that the 'ml-FHC POÍIÇjJ bc plllísucd.
honrontal consistem; that it n-_mh mzh others cxnzmg: s. : th: .st-mic timc. The former
rcquircs continuity ot' ; t powerful rcgiitt: :Pula: to cníorcc iu prctlcrçzzccs. the lálllcf
trctncndous knowledge of honx poltçzcs . Alt-ct an: itllülhcl'. 'lhcse : :re dcmundittg
prtrcqtllsllch. On: : rcqznrcs cxtr. z.; ›rti: n.1rj› ragidíqx' : o ensure mntznuzzj. . : Em other
tmusttal flcxibility* to : ichicvc accommodation With othcr pOllClCs'. Bu iirm_ 'oc plmnt,
dr: : hard dircctiom ! O follow L1¡ onc . fd the 5.2221: tinzc
The d11^crf2CHldlICCUvHilnlpllcçlln the tcrm Rllgtlfxl Íhàl thc MILHA of CCHISHICHCy
should not bu [Lillcn tor granted. lt muy ucll he (ÍÇNITJblC to pursuc . a v' *le task with
energíy . md dcknjlPli but it ma). .iiw _zm-au xuluablc au ltcdgu ottús lrr_ CIÍ'ÍHLRÍCHC_'
CCUYCS ; i higher ptywñ' fo: MICÇCM 'mit . aim ¡mpc-: o ; i ama-pc: pr: it. 'zl: ) for zLtilurc.
If scvcral dixcrgcttt policies : irc Lvciitg; pldsllüd in the mms ; tren : hoy ma) ¡ntcrfcrc
xsith cçtcl". unir: : httt there calm mi). lx* c: ;YFCHICY chance [Hat one null qtgzcucçt. lhc
. idrttotzitiun "Be untiwqcttt" 1114;. t: uppmcd b: : thc _twrcnxctím "Dmz t put . ill _nur cgg»
in lllc same basket "
Coitxistency' as not xxhtídly compatible *Mzh . atíupzrttion Yltnlc xt ttmii» lfc dcmnblc to
pursue . i stand) COLXHJ. it : a ; um cammrvníensic. tl : o : chip: tu- cima 51:15: circuntsumtces.
Thcrc 13 thc tnodcl of thc zinchtittgin; ubgcctixc pursucd by ttuntcrurn ílclürltí . and
: :açtitzil rctrcuts but ncxcr . tbtirdnríud . and Liltittnttclf; .auízicxcd. Their IS ; tim thc
mrvtlçl of lôélflllflf. in 'whzwz : xpz-: zçncc lCuLl) mcíl tu . Ziicr ÍÍlCl( «›'L~_: ctt¡'. c› . L5 : wii . as
thc ntezms Of obtçtimng: them. 'lhcy 2114)' come to belicuc thc Cmt . _~ : ao high nr they
mix lCdlH they prefcr .1 diiTctç-rtt obysstix: .Xppurcnt inconsntcitcj» : n43 turn out to
be . L chungc in uhjccttxe» ll-buth means . xml ends. policia 1nd ÚbjCCÍlKCÊ. AFC chmtgittg
lt ; ludcs Mc's
simultaneotnly; conslslcllcjv' ma: : turn out to hc . t mll n' the WMP Il'
grmp 'CvhcztcVàt' nnc lrtc: to CJplUrc n13 ilh: rcwlting lllcúllblhlcllcj- : :m3 : tc-t : natter
so n1t: ch. hox~ t. : '. .lx long ; ts . lllffnrklüt cut: r_~c. » crf QLIIOI) ; irc lllxrrxjtlülll") : .~. .iit; ¡nerl a(
: :ich point ofdcciston.
Cbnsttlcr : tltcrnanxcal Which ones? HOW nur; “ Answers to these cnisstions depcnd
on thc IIHCHIHCUC» of thc planncrs: thc . tckntmlcdgcd cortsarutnt: : «uch _u limited
funda social values). .md the C051 in terms oi' IHIlC. talent. ;and : ;tu: ;:; .; : mt . un b:
3-' lt as. b» : n: '~~'«. '_-'. r-: :en tlzrñcui: :n mou «rush inconwãtcn: m' cns : :ze (mix. 12;' pL-ç; LCJNEHLL
. mic «vhunnine açuurJIc zntnrmqhan. :: crc ; rc whom Cnnícfllm prtmlctttx Fui ; m 'HC oltcn
stlted m ÇcnCíJl temia that ! cznc ; amy-Ee : :opc : br mryzng mtcrprculuwta of : nur IRÍUIH , Àmbigtntyv
»urrvtu-tcs perform: :a pohrzsi! function '01- cnablnnxj pcopt who nngxxt olncrxvw. : ClxlVZfÉ ~r' cxcty-
thing um. made cusdr) : o ; ct tngctmr. Tnctc : :nnol tncn be . a 7h71'. çrJeLon r uns: uhxh : omdgc
consutency. There 15 àlhO the qucsucrt of cuutígtmg PCISPCCCXNCS . LITZ-. lng ; çiurx ; Eli ubsczuurs The
tthscrtcr ntay not: : an ; zpparcnt contmiznzcnt : o ; i certain ? ciel . md upc of unxcsrment . and : ee il
HLLlCC by uixcniun oízund». to vugc 1r1cr-: '.A~. cs. Tal : hcnbsczxcr thisntcans inçunxnmnz; Thc . zctor,
how-nei_ nm) fcci tuxbalctll m pursulnç Ílh fOll ct po. :t: ç_~i «ttrport Gncn in_- ! nv VÚlI. CN lim(
. L ci m continua ; mtcvnc : uso llltlcí onc C. .1."l. ':l'-St_) mm a Ihizd m» . ic 's', whiçit : nc : rc reconctlcd.
l: -cxtmcnl sccmd tn bring wpport when it um : nnnutzccd ; md »o due¡ spundm: : _r uthcr purposes
When its : um comes. Tlzc actors' glucs nas; 'oc : ephrased . b “the ltiçhnt pwstbíc tmcszmcnt au long
m. n : toca not scnously arfect ; itzntcdnarc pcvüt. : lsaorort " ln '. :-: -~ 0° ? JC prsssuz** 'o : mes: :na needs
of Cnfíercnt pcoplu : Jrzntisiy SIILJICÚ tn . sunga. mm'. Ucciwtvns Lift . miuuatcd V. *r-. Ldc «jun : um . A.
cnntnngcnt l'(l>lS. Thl$1 ulut ll Ittcnttslu úCnpl (u changingçircuntatincc. M lztc _lxuln u( th; .iutors
»mt xuch thc tamos, :onuetcncg becomes a ntoxmv Lirwr. diñlcult to hit nt : :ic t-czt ot 1.11105, »sn-
Pxhnb? to lõcglc , l lllL' 'A cr<t
Historical Evolution of Strategic Management l 201
spent on each. While it used to be popular to say that all alternatives should be
sv-stematicalls' compared, it has become ciident that this won't ivork; knowledge is
lacking and the cost is too high. The number of alternatives considered could easily
be inñnite if the dimensions of the problem (such as time, money. skill and size) are
Let us suppose that only a small number ofalteritatives will be considered. Which ot'
thc many Conceivablc ones should receive attention? Presumably' those will be
selected that are believed most compatible with existing values and to work most
eñiciently. But this presupposes that the planner knows : it the beginning how the
analysis will turn out: otherwise he must rcjcct some alternatives to come up with the
preferred set. At the same time : here are other matters ttp For decision and choices must
be irizidc about vhetlter they are to be given anrilytical time and attention The planner
net-ds rules telling him when to intervene in regard to which possible decisions and
lion much time to devote to each one. His estimate of the ultimate importance ot" the
dcClSlOn tindoubtedly matters. but also it requires predictive ability he may not have.
He is likely to resort to simple rules such as the amount ot" money involved in the
decision and an estimate ot' his opportunities for inñttencing it.
We have gone a long tvi-ay from the simple advice to consider alternntixies. Now we
know that this command does not tell anyone which decisions should concern him,
how many ílllêfllflUVCS lie should consider, how much time and attention to devotc
to them or whether he knows enough to make the enterprise worthwhile. To say that
alÍ6l'l'L1llV6S should be considered is to suggest that something better must exist
“NllhJ-. ll being able to say what it lS.
Be rational! lt' rationality' means achieving one's goals in theoptimal way, it refcrs
here to technical clliciency', the principio ol' least effort. As Paul Diesing arguesüi
howeier. one can COHCCWC of several levels of rationality for ditTerent aspects ot'
society. There is the rationaliuv' ol' legal norms and of social structures as well as
political rationality, which speaks to the maintenance ot' structures foi' decision. and
economic rationality which is devoted to increasing national wealth.
What lS good for thc political system may not be good for the economy and rica
aan-a. The overweening emphasis upon economic growth in Pakistan may have
contributed to the relative neglect ol' the question of governmental legitimacy in the
eastcrn regions. Any ; tnalysis of public policy that does not consider incompatibilities
among the different realnis of rationality' is bound to be partial and misleading.
_ Strict economic rationality means getting the most national income out of a given
Imfítmettl. The end is to increase real GNP, no matter who recentes it, and the
means is an investment expenditurc, no matter who pays for it. To be economically
rational is to increase growth to its maximum. Speaking of economic rationzalíty is a
Was' ot" smuggling in identification with the goal of economic development without
Rationality is also used in the broader sense of reason. The rational man has
30315 that he tries to achieve by being systematic. efficient, consistem and so on.
Slñne rationality in the sense ot' reason has no independent meaning ot' its own it
“J P31" Dlõlnê. Reason m Society (Urbana: Llniversity* of Illinois Press. W762).
302 Historical Ein/ uniu¡ nJI-Slralijtttt" . lftínagrmrnl I
can only have such '-; -.; id. t;. 'th is llElpt-. Tltd by the norms : hat tcll us ; ihout »shut
rerisontitnle : actuou is,
The iniunctiivtt to plan t E ! l is empty'. The key terms itssnciitted With it ; tre proverbs
or plntitiides. Pursue goals! Considcr ttlternritrves l (Dbtaitt knov. lcdgel lzxcrcise ttower!
Obltllíl consent! Or be tlcxihle but dci not alter ; tour Ctturw. Planning stands lor
Yet plítllfllllg has' tttfqhlfâd ; i fcpllliíldfl for succcss in . wdilltj rich cnuzitrics, Pcriups
a certain lcxel of ; triluencc is required hc-f-: tre pl-siirtiii; ?tc-contos cilcctinc. lnstctzd of
stticking the deck ; i-; uiizst ; tlçiitiiiriz by ; isÍ-; irg xslietlter it 'works in p-ltlf ZIJlIOHS, Lt
Lts piity its bes'. cards "n5- lciiíikiitgt: É tis record under the most prtipitiotis cxcninstizriccs.
Planning in Rich CÍountrics
. Although l has: jsíclfccl : :i5 rcniitrl. ,~. to (Cttldilljlâ existing in poor countries. they
apply to tic-l": ones . i5 Wcll. F-ÇlIlÍÉÇll planning rzsidc. the: : . irc better . iíwlc Lliíttt mor
itaticiits to contml the. ? future. Gitmeritmcnts in ixsh natnans hsm. : iii-irc rescnirces on
which tn dFLHV. nturc adequate mttchinsrja for mohilzzz. ,1 tftein_ and ntorc traincd
people to : ttakcr use of them. lhcy can añord mor: failures . ts 'well : Ls capttalizc uz¡
their successcs. Their prospei'it): is not frucir; iiiteed but their chçinccs to do »st-Il for
themsclxcs ; irc much higher than in the poor countries lt IN ptlsslhlc that the failure of
torniiil cctiiictntic planning in rich cottntritts ; ictuulljt hqs hccn hidden lu» tlteii '›; ",'lllh.
Ccviilrcitititticiti 'úllll cxpcrzcncc in lormal planning nus hccn . iwivdctj : ig c'c: st. :i. _'_ 'the
debut: Ill ícrizts 131.11 ; incial tfic central question.
The debate taste: nntionitl econoiitic plitnníitg: in the past four deciides hiis hecn
conducted largclj-i in terms nl' dichotoitties' the indinidtiizl xcrsus the stat: : freedom
versus dictatcirsliip; priuatc enterprise versus state control: price . sf/ stcms ucrsus
hzerarcltical Command; fcltlúflãl economic choice 'versus lffíliltllltzl DCVIlKlCCIl itttcr-
ierencc. The great questions were. t'c›tild state planning 'nc rcconcilcd with picrscinnl
liirerij. í' Was central administrativa command .1 'Lvetter oi 'üvíllic suit; to ntiake decisons
tlznii dependence on prices determined in cctnnontic nts-. rkeis Í Wciuld rmicin-. ii : nt-idas ot'
economic thouglzt. designed to increase ncàilünlll income in me long run_ he . irulc to
oxercnnte lffñlitNlíll political forces sucking to ; iccumuli-. ic pmvcr in tn. - riflofl run?
All ihcsc questions . assume that national economic pianiiintz-. ts distitz~ct from mere
nrbiirury political interxention-is a reiil possibility'. But-if it doesn't work-il' the
goals of the plan do not mms from the paper on tsltich they are written to the sciciety'
to uhich they : ne sltpposcd to refer. thc-n uvhg. xiorr; :ibotit it; it can nciihcr ; rush nor
Is there a single example of successful national economic planniite f' lite Sure(
Ijnion has had central pltllllllllfl and has cxpcricnced economic grtswth. But the
growth hits not h-: cn exceptionrxl and has not folloured tlie plan. ls : here ; l single
cottntry whose economic life over : i period of years has been QUÍLÊCÓ by : in economic
plan 'so : hat thc titrgcts set out iu the plan bear ; i ntodcst resemblance to events : is they
actually* occurl” No doubt each reader will be tempted to furnish the one he has heard
about. Ve( the kery fact fas ; anyone Can Ven! ) hj. ptising the NJTHC . query. d) that it is hard
to name : in exantple suggests that the record of piunnzng nas hardly' hrcn hriliiant.
. n_. .n. .__-. _.. s.. ..__. . _. ... _._›. ._. __. - .
Historical Evolution of Strategic Management l 203
po¡- all we know, the few apparent successes (if there are any) are no more than
When really' pushed to show results, somewhere, some place. sometime, planning
advocates are likely to cite the accomplishments of indicativo planning on the French
model as the modern success story of their trade. The French example is indeed a
good one because it puts the least possible demands on the planning enterprise. Where
many ttational plans are comprehensive, in the sense that they try to set targets tor
virtually all sectors of the economy, the French dealt only Wilh the major ones.
While planners in some countries have to set the entire range of prices, the modified
market economy in France makes this burden unnecessary. France has not been
afllictcd by thc rapid turnover of key personnel that has contributed to the disconti-
nuitics in planning elsewhere. France is rich in many ways besides moncy-informa-
tion. personnel. communication-that should make it easier for her planners to guide
future events. Where some plans hope to be authoritatiye, in that both government
and private industry are required to follow the guidelines contained in them, the
French plans hnvc been indicative, that is, essentially' voluntary. While clTorts are nlade
to rexvard those who cooperate, there are no sanctions for failure to comply. French
plans indicate the directions wise and prudent men would take. if they were wise and
prudent. ll' planning does not work in France, where conditions are so advantageous,
it would be unlikely to do better in less favorable circumstances. ”
Bttt like it or not, formal planning in France is a failure. Economic growth has taken
place but not according to instructions in the plan. Targets hate not been met in the
first four plans. Neither for individual sectors nor for the economy as a whole have
groxvth rates been approximated. Governments have consistently ignored the plan or
opposcd it in order to meet immediate needs. In order tojustify the idea of planning,
Steven Cohen, author of the best book on the subject, .líotíern Capiralisr Plan/ img:
The French ExpcrÍeNCeJ5 suggests that il' there were a democratic majority agrced on
its goals. if their purposes could be tnaintained over a period of years. it" they had thc
knowledge and power necessary to make the world behave as they wish. tfthcy could
control the future, then central planning would work. Ife . .l
What Cohen's book actually shows is that limited economic planning in a major
industrial country with considerable financial resources and talent did not work.
What hope would there be for poor nations whose accumulated wealth is definitely
less, whose reservoir of human talent is so much smaller, whose whole life is sur-
rounded by far greater uncertainties? How couldplanning help radically change
Africa or Asia when it has failed to produce even limited changes in France?
Signilicant control of the future demands mobilizing knowledge, power, and re-
sources throughout a society'. lt does no good to propose measures that require
nonexistent information, missing resources. and unobtainable consent. Thc planner
cannot crente, at thc moment he needs them, things his society does not pOSSCSS.
Hc can. however. assume them to be true in that artificial world created in the plan.
But planning is not a policy. lt is presumably a way to create policies related to one
l* The following paragraphs on France are taken from Aaron Wildavsky. “Does Planning Work? "
Pilblic Interest, Summer 1971, no. 24. pp. 95-104.
*5 Harxsird University Press. Cambridge. Mass. . l970.
704 Historical Evolution of Strategic Management l
another over time so as to achieve desired objectives The immense prcsutitption
involved, the incredible demztnds, :iot merely on the financial, but on the intellectual
resources of societal organiiaition explain the most importam thittg about national
plitnning~it does not work because no large and complex society can figure out xvhzit
simple and unambiguotis things ii WlnlS to do. or in what clear order of priority. or
how to get thein done.
Before admitting defeztt the adv-ocate ol' planning xvould at least gtesturc in the
direction of Japan. whose extraordinary economic growth has taken place in a period
during which "the government has established long-tera) economic plans as the
guiding principle for economic policicsTló Of the dozen or so economic plans
íotinulzitcd since the end ot' the Second World Wttr. tive WCT! ? taliiciailly' atlopted by the
'government and four have advanced lar enough to apprriise the fit between intention
and accomplishmcnt. In his splendid account. Isamu . Miyazaki notes that the Five-
year Plan tor Economic Self-Support tor fiscal years 1959460 called for a tive per cent
rate ot' growth iii gross national product. But "the economic growth rate turned out
to he twice as large : is vhat had been projectcd in the plan, und thc jgroyvth 'in miníng
and ttianutacturzng production and cxports proved far greater than that ellVlsãlgcd in
thc plan. Thus the targets in the plan wcre achieved tn almost two _vears. "” A second
effort. the New Long-Range Economic Plan foi' hscal years l95S-62. set the desired
growth rate at 6.52', "Honey-er, iii ; tctual performance. the rate again exceeded the
projection. teaching about l0"'_ on the average during the plan pcriodÚl* The
Douhling National lnconic Plan tor fiscal years l9ól 70, the third eflort. postulated
a real growth tatc of some 7 to 3”, .,. iN-liy-'azaki states that "In . tctiinl performance,
however, the rate reached l l “O on the average from ñscal 1961-63. Particularly notable
was the performance of private equipment investment. which grcw by almost 4053,', in
fiscal 19:30. follox-. ied by : in additional 29” 1 increase in fiscal l9ól. This meant that the
level which wiis expected to he reached in the ñnal year ot” thc plan xvas athieved in thc
first yc; ir. "l* The Fourth and last national economic elTort for which the returns tire in.
the Economic and Social Development Plan for fiscal years l967~'. 'l. resulted in cvcn
larger gaps between promise and fitlñllmerit. According to NÍLVHZQKÍ, it was
estimated that the real growth rate would reach nearly i3" on thc average tor fiscal
1967-70 against 82°” in the plan. The rate ot' increase of private equipment investment
Ifnominal) was twice as large ; ts the 10.6" ot' the forceast. Since the economic growth rate
and private equipment investment have gone far beyond the proycction. thc plan cannot
. tny itiore fuliill the role of a guide to private economic aCll'ltiÇ>. '°
Evtdently' the economy hits been growing faster titan anyone thought. Yet the purpose
ot' plans and planners must surely be to guide economic growth in the expected direc-
tion, not to gasp in amazement at how wonderfully the country has grown contrary to
tor regardless of) what they indicated. ll' plans are not guides, they have lost any
tncttnitig they might have had.
Questioning the tneaningfulncss of planning is likely' to lead to impatieiice on thc
grounds that it represents man's best hope. What have you got to otTer in its place?
1° lsamu Miyazaki. "Economic Planning in Postwar Japan". The Join-nal air/ ie Institute n] Deve/ op-
¡ng ! Íconnmicr (December |9'0l. VUÍ. Vl". H0. 4. 11 359-
” Ibizl. p. 373. 15 lbid_ p 374. l" Ibirf_ p, 37o'.
Historical Evolution of . Strategic . Mariagvtrient l 205
That is likely to bc the response. Putting thc question that »stay suggests that planning
provides a solution to problentsi But planning is not a solution to any problem. lt is
just a way ot' restating in other leingtiage the problems we do not know' how to solte.
But wheres the httrm Í' lfplannzng is not the epitome ofreason. it appears innocuotis
cnúllgh. ll" sonic people feel better in the presence ol” formal planning why' not let it
go on °
Formal Planning: Costs and Benefits
Planning is like motherhood; everyone is ? or it because it sec . is so virtuous. Over-
population on one side has not given birth to doubts on the other. lt wc leave out the
cid controxersy' over xhether centrally directed economias are better or worse han
rcliniice oii the price mechanism. there has bccn xiirtually no discussion of possible
adxcrse clTccts of forntal planning. Although planners are often economists who
profa-ss to believe that thcri: is cost For everything. the): have not applied this insight
to their own activity. lt may bc iiistriiciixe. therefore. to list a ! Lui of the possible Costs
Tlze plan may proide a . substituta for action. Working on it ma); _iustiljxi delay as
the cry-word goes out. "Lets : iot act until the plan is ready-t" Delay may' also be
: :icouragcd because the planning Commission becomes another Checkpoint in an
. llfzltldjw cumbersome administrative appnratus. lf its consent or comments are
'quiri-d and its people overburdened. planners may discouragc the speedy adaptation
to emerging events that is so essential in the olutilc environments of the poor
Planning tlscs important human resources. ln nations where Iu-Zcnt is chronically'
scnrce. men u ho might be contributing to important public and private decisions may
bc 'txlading through huge bodies ol' data or constructing claborate models whose
iipplicability' is doubtful at best. The planners not only take up their own time. they
. ntrude on Others. They czill m people from the operating ntinistries who need to
. iitsuver their questions and. ii' necessary', run around countering their advice. Time_
. itimiion and talent that might be spent iznpro» mg the regular administration on Which
tne "AMOR depends. may have : o be initested in internal hassling Willi the planners.
'fl-e direct ñnancial cost ol" paying the planners and ihcir consultants maybe small.
but the long-run financial costs to the nation may be high. Planners tend to be spcndcrs.
Íhczr rationale is that they ixill help promote current investments that will lead to
"entre increases in income. They, therefore. have a vested interest in increasing the
total amount ol' investment. Frustratcd at the elTorts ol" thc ñnance ministry to keep
&Çending down. thc planners have an incentive to get hold ot' their own sources ol'
lunds. They thereby coittribute to one of the basic financial problems ol' poor
Countries-the fragmentation of national income. Then they become another indepen-
dent entity able to resist ivhatexer central authority' exists.
investments may come in large packages or small amounts. :tt hunzdrum improve-
“tem of ltum-. in resources, or in spectacular projects. The tendency ot' planners is to
task. : the large and loud over the small and qLllCI. Their talents are better suited to the
“Víílíiszs ol' big PFOJCCIS that have a substantiztl impact on the economy and that. by
IU! ) Hiili›rit'iil Ei i›. "ii. 'i. :.I-I: eu" String-gut . Uttriiiiwvriivrr Í
their ceisLJtistily' expensive ; aiialytical attentiuzi. llzcy' hate too few pet-ipê: : : o sigpervise
the multitude cifsmall projects ixhose natal intpact rita: : nexerthcless b: nzore important
to the nation than the few big projects Their fnrne : and fortunc dcpend on identification
Wi1h'vts: blt3 objects and these . tre not to be found in the r *ral elussrisuiii or the feed-er
The stock in trade ofthe planner : s ['23 b; 13:51:31 Sr~rne¡; nte; ll _ippeirs th: larger
u. : : :tora COmpÊÇK the model itãiciizgtíi it ma; act. ; illj: t: :: i:~thii'ig 'ÍTÇ'Í'L*Í:1.Ltl'lLílLllÍglL: 't
of minibles] the more mqpigrignt the plutner. Only lí: can inrcrpre: i! .md he tnaj; 513m
_i kind ofsigiua from being? its guardlan Bad dcuisinns nur» result bet-. iuse these models
arc taken beyond : my meriis they might have. A Rpllrlullb . spccazicity may ignore the
fact that the dat: : : :sed is biid. that lhi: relevant CdltlLlllllÍlllb cannot be peitormcd or
tliiii the model docs not .1pplj_~"lC*lÍ'ic Cast : ii hand As lJÍlÍl decis-ons . tre dressed up in
psetidtmanaljxtical gãrb. mrnisterial otiicisils miij. 'cecoziie ii: i:li. *._~: cyn : il . Jrnut ziiialj. sis.
Yhen the dCHl quotes scripture. Lol'. ri: tcc-ines siispecz.
The planner inaí-: es his na). lts', ífilkiztgí . .ltciiit the need ofrrvn<. d:r: ::: :Ei: future in
present decisions. Yet poor countries hate great ililhciiltj. in kniitxing 'where they' : tre
iexcn 'A here they hate been) in terms of income, cxpendiitirc, :manpower . and the like.
Retrodiction is ; is much their problem ; is prcdiction. Yet : :ie planners may itegtlect
etlhrts to bring knowledge up to date bCCL'ltls: : 'ilzcy l-. iite Ixtle state lTI the present.
lndced. the) mai. work hard [0 crerite 'what turn Otil to *e Jll. l_Zll'i. LZj~ fui irc problems,
:: s . i Wit) of jzsiiiiirig: : . tdditictiicil iiiñaieiice over l. |Ç>Tll'iC'iÇl¡Tllll'_Í decisions
Tr. : . Bptimism of the planners ntriy 'oe tíesirxble in order : o «gr-e the rritic-n ; i sense
of ltope amnlst crushing biirdens. Tlizs opzimzsm. hnxtcucr. may result in llílfcdl
expectutinns that cannot be met. Demunds miij; he mude in . tntiçipation ol' future
incoiric that does not mtiturialize. Subsequent dmiippoinlincnt : nas ; rciitc political
difficult: - wliere none need have occurred.
Thoiigh their formal plans may be irrelevant. :ictions of plan ers . is ; iii interest
group may have impact, There is no need for us to ergue here thc: : itirntnl planners
. .ITC rtuçusszirily' Wrong, lt stillices to »ty (hill the); hate their iiwn built-in biuses. and
that these so tezimes lead to tinfortiiiiçite ceiziscqiiences. Wii». then. i: :: ie north of
formal planning so rarely' qtiestionedÍ
Despite tritcritiittent disiitltction uith planning the cuntntst be: estan : lie plan ; ind
the nation ntocked the planners-it was diñiciili lbr national elites tn forgn sight of
the promised land, They so wanted an ezisy xvay oiii of their lruublcs. Besides, they'
soon diseovered lÍíLll the nünüpõfiillülhll quality giz' planmrtgí could lhe iiclpftil. lf it did
not commit them to tim-thing, it might ; ez be nude into . i iisetiil instrument.
Formal planning may be useful as . in escape from the seeminghr ; nsurmtwunirible
prolrlcnts of the day Iflife is gloomíx* in the present then _i plan ciin lizÍp otrfset : hat by
creating : i rosicr 'vision of the future. lt' grcziizps cztnnot b: : indtilgied in th: present, they
can be shown the larger places they occiipy in future ¡glans Formal pltllllllllg can also
be . t 'way of buying off the upostlcs of rzitionzility' by involx-ing them in (risks tlitit take
them away from the reril decisions.
he reputation ol' u. :iutinns lcaders ttiuy' dcpmd ozi lhClT having* u. ;kissing plan_
International elites ma) expect it ; is etidence of competente and dediciition to
determine control of the future rather trian szmpijc being cncrtiiíxcn b; venta l te: -
Historical Evolution of Strategic A-larzagentent l 207
à national prestigc ma) rest to some degree on one ot the lew national products that
are visible and transportahle-a beautifully bound set ot' national plans.
_A government ntay ñnd uses for planners as a group apart from the regular
bureaucraiic apparattis. Planning machinery may he a Way' deliberately to introduce
compCliliVe elements into thc administration, either as a : tteans of provoking reform
or of blocking departmeittal ambitions. Planners may be used as a source of ideas
outside regular administrative channels (as a l-: ind of general staff for the executive)
bypassing thc normal chain of command. All this. however. has little : o do with their
ostensible reason for being, namely, planning, but much to do with the fact that since
planners do exist. they may as well serve the purposes of others.
'Trivial functions aside, planning might have xvithered frozn disappointment and
disuse had not new clients insisted on it. When the United States : trade foreign aid
fzshionable, a number of poor countries were in a position to scctzrc sums of money
that were large in comparison to their small budgets. This created a need for institu-
iioital mechanisms that could do two things spend surpluscs and obtain foreign aid.
The United States would not. of course, do anything so simple as to give money just
because a country said it needed it: eripitalist America insisted upon a plan. Since an
existing bttreaucracyr would have had no experience in putting together these docu-
ments. it was necessary' to create a mechanism for preparing them. lt did not matter
txncthcr the plan worked: what did count xvas the ability to produce a document Vhich
lo-Jl-: ed like a plan. and that meant using economists and other technical personnel.
A lt' these skills were not available within the country; they had : o be importcd in the
form of planners and foreign aid advisors. A demand cxisted and an entirely new
' industry tvas created to fill the need, Thus national planning ma); be justiñed on a
wrict cash basis: planners may bring in more money from abroad than it costs to
support them at home.
These uses for formal planning suggest that I hnxc been looking at plans, planners
; and planning commissions in the wrong '›'21_Y. I have been assessing -zin the language of
: he sociologísi) their manifest functions. the purposes they are supposed to serve.
Fáñríhill planning also has latent functions: it serves other purposes as well.
Planning as Faith
While there is exery cxidence that national plans are unsucccssful. there is virttially no
cxn-_lence that they do good, however "good" might be described. Yet : to one thinks of
: :r-ing thcm up. When pcoplc continue to do things that do not help them the subject
cries out for investigation. Neither the governments nor the people they rule are
prcsumcd to be masochists. Vhyx then. do they not change their behavior?
Planners are men of secular faith. The word "faith" is used advisedly because it is
hardly possible to say that planning has been _iustiñed by works. Once the word is in
them it leaps over the realm of experience. They arc confirmed in their bcliefs no
matter what happens. Planning is good if it succeeds and society is bad if it falls.
Tltut is why planners so often fail to learn from experience. To learn one must make
míszakes and planning cannot be one of them.
Planning concerns rnans efforts to make the future in his own image. If he loscs