The role of strategic planning in the performance of small professional service firms: a research note
French, SNJ, Kelly, SJ & Harrison, JL 2004, 'The role of strategic planning in the performance of small professional service firms: a research note', Journal of Management Development, vol. 23, no. 8, pp. 765-776.
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Using a sample of small, regional professional service firms, this paper investigates relationships between firm performance and aspects of strategic planning. Constructs measuring vision, mission, latent abilities, competitor orientation and market orientation are identified using exploratory factor analysis and respondents categorised as non-planners, informal planners, formal planners and sophisticated planners. Multiple performance measures were used to assess the relationship between these factors and categories and firm performance. While no significant relationship between the performance measures and factors is identified, a significant relationship between net profit and informal planning emerges. These mixed results bring into question the value of the classical strategic planning process as a means of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage in the market analysed.