What Do We Know About Using Long-Range Plans?

by George Steiner



Despite the recent increase in the popularity of the term "long-range planning," people have actually been making long-range plans for a very long time, in industry as well as in other walks of life. The purpose of this article is to survey the knowledge of long-range plans and, especially, to point out certain gaps in the present knowledge. With the nature of long-range planning as its point of departure, this discussion turns to the use of long-range plans to guide evolving short-term decisions and, most importantly, the execution of those decisions; and two new potential uses which are fruitful areas for more thought and research. The analysis concludes with a few dangers of which managers need to be aware. For management to polish the long-range planning process to the point where it fulfills all that is expected of it, a good bit of research and experience is needed. It has been suggested to pay more attention to weak spots in knowledge, and on achieving the actual experience, as it will be effective in achieving company goals at lower costs.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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