Plans in Organizations

Michael Fehling and Earl Sacerdoti

This paper presents our evolving view of organizational planning. We discuss lessons we are learning by studying examples of real-world organizational planning. Our approach to this topic is interdisciplinary and founded on a view of planning as a form of resource-constrained decision making under uncertainty. We examine how considerations of planning as a multi-agent process dictates extensions to our basic decision-theoretic perspective by examining some of the challenges of coordinating planning activities and attaining coherence in the contents of plans constructed by multiple, independent planners. We then consider the multiple uses that organizational plans seem to serve in human organizations. We conclude by summarizing some implications of our studies for the development of organizational planning technology.

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