The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions: A Reply
Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 7, pp. 183-185, 1986
2 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2005 Last revised: 31 Dec 2011
In Armstrong (1982a), I examined alternative explanations to the empirical findings that supported the use of formal planning. In considering the possibility that researcher bias might lead to such results, I used Terpstra's (1981) evaluation scheme. Based on this test, poor methodology did not seem responsible for the conclusions on the value of formal planning.
Foster suggests that Terpstra's test was not valid because the studies were not experimental. I disagree. The possibility exists to do experimental work. Van de Ven (1980) approaches this ideal. Furthermore five of the six Terpstra scale items are relevant to quasi-experimental or non-experimental research. There may, however, be other reasons to challenge the validity of these scales.
While I accepted the validity of the scales in my original study, I reported some difficulty in applying the scale. This was surprising inasmuch as the scale seems simple and Terpstra had reported 100 per cent interrater reliability for its use in his study on organizational development. In any event, the reliability of the scales was open to question.
Keywords: Formal planning, strategic decision, Foster, Terpstra
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