Linking Public Affairs with Corporate Planning

by John Fleming



In order to cope effectively with the frequently disruptive outside factors, corporations are developing a new administrative area called "issue management." It consists of three major activities, issue identification, corporate proaction, and the inclusion of public affairs issues in established decision-making processes and managerial functions. The focus of the article is on the third area, specifically, on the critical process of linking public affairs issues with corporate planning. With such a linkage, the issue management activity becomes a vital and integrated part of the over all managerial process. When public affairs issues are linked to corporate planning, the future effects of societal and political environments are understood and internalized by line managers and are anticipated and provided for through planning and capital budgeting. To a large degree the unwelcome surprises from this turbulent environment can thus be avoided. The article relates the findings from research in the grocery products manufacturing industry to the analytical framework. Recommendations are made concerning the actions that management can take to achieve a successful and effective linkage.

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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