Strategic planning research: toward a theory-driven agenda

Carola Wolf*, Steven W. Floyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review incorporates strategic planning research conducted over more than 30 years and ranges from the classical model of strategic planning to recent empirical work on intermediate outcomes, such as the reduction of managers’ position bias and the coordination of subunit activity. Prior reviews have not had the benefit of more socialized perspectives that developed in response to Mintzberg’s critique of planning, including research on planned emergence and
strategy-as-practice approaches. To stimulate a resurgence of research interest on strategic planning, this review therefore draws on a diverse body of theory beyond the rational design and contingency approaches that characterized research in this domain until the mid-1990s. We develop a broad conceptualization of strategic planning and identify future research opportunities for improving our understanding of how strategic planning influences organizational outcomes. Our framework incorporates the role of strategic planning practitioners; the underlying routines, norms, and procedures of strategic planning (practices); and the concrete activities of planners (praxis).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1754-1788
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

© Sage 2013. The final publication is available via Sage at


  • strategic planning
  • planning practices
  • planning practitioners
  • planning outcomes
  • strategy-as-practice


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