Formal strategic planning: the Malaysian Chinese business perspective

Article English OPEN
Ho, Shelen (2017)
  • Publisher: Malaysian Institute of Management

Let us begin with a quote from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (1872):\ud \ud Alice: “Which way should I go?”\ud Cat: “That depends on where you are going.”\ud Alice: “I don’t know where I’m going!”\ud Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go!”\ud \ud Findings from various academic reports and teachings by renowned management gurus have advocated formal strategic planning as crucial for any organizations’ success. However, is that management in practice when it comes to real organization settings, and how effective have it been in the Malaysian context? \ud \ud This research study explores the usage of formalized strategic plan by Chinese business leaders in Malaysia. The research also looks into key strategic planning principles that have contributed to Chinese business success and sustainability.\ud \ud The exploratory qualitative research centered around 28 Chinese businesses in Malaysia. The study was carried over a year using case study research design. Raw data was collected from series of semi structured interviews. The findings conclude that conventional approach to strategic planning is not widely adopted and practiced by the participating organizations. The respondents see serious pitfalls in being too formal in planning which stifle flexibility and creativity that are critical for business success today. Business success, instead, is guided by strategic planning principles that are greatly influenced by Chinese cultural practices.\ud \ud This paper offers insights into strategic planning practices by the Chinese business community in Malaysia which are grounded solidly on overseas Chinese cultural values. These traditional Asian thought could bring about important adaptation to existing strategic planning models and developing new theories.
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