Strategic planning practices and performance of Zimbabwe state corporations
The topic of strategic planning and how it influences organizational performance has been the subject of intense debate over the last five decades. It is conceptualized that when organizations embrace strategic planning practices in their operations performance is improved. It is argued that adoption of strategic planning practices by an organization enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of strategic planning practices on the performance of Zimbabwe state corporations. A census was conducted on Zimbabwe state corporations. The research design that was used in this study was the descriptive cross sectional survey method. The target respondents in this study were senior executives, general managers and line managers of the state corporations. Data was collected using questionnaires and analysed using descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. Collected data was tested for reliability and validity using Cronbach’s alpha and principal factor analysis. The study established that state corporations adopted a number of strategic planning practices that had a positive influence on the performance of the corporations. The findings of this study, therefore, collaborates extant strategic management literature which states that strategic planning improves organizational performance. It is therefore recommended that Zimbabwe state corporations improve their corporate governance structures and internal control systems so as to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. It is further recommended that some of Zimbabwe’s state corporations be restructured and their operations be exposed to the competitive environment of the open market economy. It is recommended that the Zimbabwean government chooses a less interventionist stance on state corporations by providing managers with more autonomy and correspondingly higher accountability. This study is one of the few to determine the influence of adopting strategic planning practices by organizations operating in a closed economy but one which is also in transition. It is hoped, therefore, that this study provides a basis for further empirical studies, not only on state corporations but also on private and public sector organizations with similar contextual backgrounds.