Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Richard Brynteson

Reader (Advisor 2)

Diane Hinds


This paper is intended to present one possible model for small business oriented strategic planning and, as importantly: A method to ensure the compatibility of day to day business operation with the strategic direction by examining and if necessary, changing the underlying corporate culture. This model seeks to encourage within the small business organization, the attributes of speed, collaborative work and the integration of all of the business activities, including the customer, in a fast reacting service chain that delivers more value than other business models.

The principle elements of this proposed model are not new. The underlying fundamentals come from the works of Peter Senge (learning organizations and systems thinking), Michael Hammer (process centered, flat organizations with employees working across historical departmental boundaries), Patrick Below (application of systems thinking principles to strategic planning), Price Pritchett (structuring organizations in horizontal rather than vertical fashion) and Michael Porter (strategic principles). There is some sentiment in the business world that current strategic planning models don't really work and new, more effective models haven't evolved yet. This proposal is an attempt to articulate a hybrid planning and operation model, specifically aimed at small businesses. It is hoped the proposal of this model will spark debate, research and ultimately, development of improved models and processes for small businesses.


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