A Study of Strategic Planning Practices in the Southern German Construction Industry

Lindermayr, Alexander (2017) A Study of Strategic Planning Practices in the Southern German Construction Industry. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

This research explores how strategic planning practices are facilitated, and constrained, by organizational processes and structures that characterize particular firms. The investigation of different aspects of strategic planning practices in the construction sector has yet to receive sufficient research attention. This is supported by the emergent perspective on strategic practices not as stand-alone phenomena, but as complex organizational processes. Semi-structured interviews provide primary data that serve as the basis for this qualitative investigation of construction enterprises in Southern Germany. In this study, theoretically informed questions about business strategy, the formulation of objectives, and planning practices guide the process of both data collection and its analysis. The construction companies selected for 33 interviews are located in the proximity of Munich, Augsburg, Ulm, Günzburg, Landsberg, and Ingolstadt in Swabia and Upper Bavaria. The primary qualitative data were generated over four months between November 2013 and February 2014. This study explores different aspects of strategic and planning practices by investigating encoded answers to corresponding questionnaire items. In the majority of micro and small construction companies that took part in this study, an intuitive and ad hoc approach to planning predominates. Forecasting methods are in use owing to their contribution to the minimization of short-term business costs and risks. Scenario methods are considered as involving overly long planning horizons that are unsuitable, owing to rapid changes and volatility occurring in the construction industry. For only some of the more medium companies, financial and strategic planning are differentiated, which could be because strategic plans are presented mostly to superiors and supervisors, planning is a hierarchical and formalized process, and the companies have predominantly regional- and national- scale operations. This study has followed an activity-based framework and extended theoretical research by exploring an emergent perspective that analyses strategic planning practices as tools-in-use. Significantly different patterns of various aspects of planning practices clearly indicate that planning tools are highly likely to affect their selection, utilization, and outcomes. Thus, this study demonstrates that planning practices and their associated tools are complexly related with other organizational processes. This study also suggests that the goals and motivations of owners and managers engaged in strategic planning are intricately related to planning outcomes in organizations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Ward, Philippapward@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Wynn, Martinmwynn@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information: Master of Philosophy of Business Administration
Uncontrolled Keywords: Strategic planning; Construction industry, Germany
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2340.8 Small and Medium-sized businesses, artisans, handcrafts, trades
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2017 14:21
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 14:21
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/5181

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