Planning Objectives

by Cyril O’Donnell



So important is the need to select proper planning objectives that one would think that their nature and specification would be thoroughly understood and practiced with skill. But such is far from the case. Anyone who takes the trouble to examine enterprise "plans" will find that few of them qualify as true plans. Their chief fault lies in a misunderstanding of the planning process, and especially in vague statements of objective. This opens the door to vagaries of consistency, logic, and data, and invites pertinent questions concerning the need or the reason for planning in the first place. Enterprises are not free to plan in isolation. This environment may be viewed in terms of a scalar chain of authority, the degree of influence exercised over others, or the degree of freedom with which the enterprise can act. Internationally, there is a community of supposedly independent states which influence but do not control each other. Internationally, the ultimate power rests in a political institution, democratic or authoritarian, which determines the degree of retained freedom of its peoples to act.

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