Strategic planning and management functions are all the more important in case of large organizations. Other functional management areas like Human Resources, Finance etc. deal with only a part of the organization or its activity. At times two or more such areas may need to take assistance from each other. But strategic planning and management relates to the management of the organization as a whole. Different set of persons may contribute in different proportions towards making strategic moves. Strategic decisions are concerned with the issue of setting a direction for the organization to move or the course the organization will follow Though very crucial, yet preparing 'strategic moves' for future often is not based on hard facts, but on presumptions. It involves past experience, forecasting and 'surround-effect'. The input from different sources are integrated into one comprehensive plan in order to manage the operations, marketing, production, human resources, marketing communications, technology implementation, diversification, mergers & acquisitions etc. Multinational Enterprises with stakes in many markets, different sets of individuals, cultures etc. need to take care of the variations in perceptions and practices in order to remain relevant to the desired areas of operations.
In general the planning process begins by taking stock...
International strategic planning is the process through which multinational enterprises are supposed to evaluate their performances in the past, make an objective assessment of their corporate strengths and weaknesses, and then chalk out strategies for future operations, which also involves processes like selection, recruitment, allocation of resources and assessing the market positions. Blaney (2001) for example, states that 'long-term planning is about making decisions. It is not about day dreaming. It is a practical exercise in decision-making to try to ensure that the organization goes from where it is now to where it wants to go in a given time-period'. Strategic planning and management can be therefore described as what Bernard (1962) called 'maintaining the organization in operation'.
Strategic planning, in general, is carried out by the top management, with strategic inputs from different departments. For multinational enterprises, such a planning is done at corporate headquarters together with senior managers from domestic and foreign operating subsidiaries. In these competitive times, when market dynamics do not allow plans to last long enough, most of the MNEs try to keep permanent planning staff for providing timely inputs to top level managers in order to devise strategies. The planning staff is supposed to gather demographic data, economic data, marketing potential, remuneration statistics etc. to the top level executives; who in turn come out with strategic plans accordingly. The top executives responsible for devising international strategies for MNEs, must also be aware of different political systems, government structures, legal systems, multiple currencies, accounting systems besides the