Designing the strategic planning process: does psychological type matter?

David Jennings (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)
John J. Disney (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the empirical literature concerning the design of the strategic planning process and its relationship to environmental, organizational, strategic and psychological factors. The paper aims to focus on psychological type and its relationship to planning preferences.


A study of 187 managers' profiling their psychological type (using a short version of the MBTI, Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and their preferences towards configuring the strategic planning process. A review of the literature finds inconsistent conclusions. The results of a study of the relationship between psychological type and planning preferences are reported.


The study finds some inconsistent evidence for the importance of psychological type but greater support for the conclusion that the characteristics of strategic situations, rather than a manager's psychological type, determine configuration of the strategic planning process.

Research limitations/implications

The existing bias towards examining the environmental, organizational and strategic context of organizations appears to be the more appropriate path for developing explanations of strategic planning design.

Practical implications

For managers involved in the practice of planning the literature review a basis is provided for reviewing their own planning process. Educators and trainers using the MBTI in planning simulations should be aware of the lack of its reliability in predicting preferences concerning planning.


The article reviews contextual studies that have implications for the design of the strategic planning process and develops understanding of a comparatively neglected contextual factor, psychological type.



Jennings, D. and Disney, J. (2006), "Designing the strategic planning process: does psychological type matter?", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 5, pp. 598-614.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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