Search results

1 – 10 of 76
Article
Publication date: 1 April 1984

Pier A. Abetti

Technology planning presents a unique challenge to planners. First, because until technology achieves patents and proprietary know how, it offers high risk and low value…

1064

Abstract

Technology planning presents a unique challenge to planners. First, because until technology achieves patents and proprietary know how, it offers high risk and low value. And second, because technology management is to business management what rodeos are to ranching. In fact, John Thackray's recent Planning Review article (July 1983) concluded that technology cannot be managed, and therefore, cannot be planned.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1987

John G. Main and John Thackray

Ten years ago, restructuring generally meant recapitalizations and workouts of companies on the ropes. Today, it is a new phenomenon—omnipresent, unstable, and in…

Abstract

Ten years ago, restructuring generally meant recapitalizations and workouts of companies on the ropes. Today, it is a new phenomenon—omnipresent, unstable, and in continual evolution.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

John Thackray

What's happening in the field of financial strategy? Have Chief Financial Officers forsworn synergy in favor of the holding company model? Have planning teams adopted most…

Abstract

What's happening in the field of financial strategy? Have Chief Financial Officers forsworn synergy in favor of the holding company model? Have planning teams adopted most of the best ideas of finance—such as shareholder value analysis—as their own? Do the finance and strategy functions compete or cooperate to steer their corporate ship?

Details

Planning Review, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1980

John Thackray

Hyped by the Administration, the problem of productivity has lately hit the headlines. Like the Nixon and Ford governments, Carter and his entourage of economic experts…

Abstract

Hyped by the Administration, the problem of productivity has lately hit the headlines. Like the Nixon and Ford governments, Carter and his entourage of economic experts have taken to loud public lamentations about the U.S.' low productivity growth. In fact, Carter has been far more pessimistic on this score than his predecessors, predicting an annual productivity growth over the next five years of a mere 1.5 percent, compared to previous Department of Labor projections of a 2 percent figure. The very day after his gloomy forecast in the Economic Report to Congress, the Labor Department unveiled the lousy productivity score for 1978—a trifling 0.4 percent increase, the worst since the 1974 depression. Carter solemnly warned the nation that this alarming drift at a time of high inflation threatened everyone's standard of living.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1982

John Thackray

A popular new strategy has appeared on the scene lately. It is called restructuring or, occasionally, redeployment. It may resemble the tried and true strategies of…

Abstract

A popular new strategy has appeared on the scene lately. It is called restructuring or, occasionally, redeployment. It may resemble the tried and true strategies of disinvestment and spin‐outs, but it attempts to be something much more far‐reaching; no less than the entire redirection of products, markets, and technologies of the restructuring firm. Seagrams, Bendix, Northwest Industries, Cities Service, Borden, American Can, GAF, and dozens more have pioneered and implemented restructuring on a radical scale in recent times. In all these instances, management has shed not just a doggy division but a whole line of endeavor—typically representing a third to a quarter of its asset base—with the intent of using the proceeds to plunge into entirely new activities.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

John Thackray

SCENE: A bright September morning in the Terrace Room of the Plaza Hotel in New York. There's a giant screen center stage and scattered TV monitors emitting a cold blue…

Abstract

SCENE: A bright September morning in the Terrace Room of the Plaza Hotel in New York. There's a giant screen center stage and scattered TV monitors emitting a cold blue light. A short burly man steps up to the podium before about a hundred members of the Wall Street community and the press. The man is Hicks Waldron, CEO of Avon Products, and he's staged this two‐hour presentation to unveil a freshly minted corporate plan for the Avon Division, which accounts for about three‐quarters of the entire Avon company's sales.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1983

John Thackray

Within the historical development of the modern corporation there are slow and sweeping cycles of change in which some managerial specialties come to the fore, while…

Abstract

Within the historical development of the modern corporation there are slow and sweeping cycles of change in which some managerial specialties come to the fore, while others wane. The present epoch of the U.S. corporation unquestionably belongs to the experts in financial technique, deployment, and manipulation.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1983

John Thackray

The latest buzz word heard in boardrooms, business schools, seminars, executive conferences, lectures, and in management consultants' proposals is “technology management.”…

Abstract

The latest buzz word heard in boardrooms, business schools, seminars, executive conferences, lectures, and in management consultants' proposals is “technology management.” In this context, technology is not simply science applied, nor is it simply research and development activity. Technology has become a synthetic term for a number of techno‐socioeconomic forces at play in our material world. And in technology management we have yet a higher level of abstraction. Its seductive appeal consists of the implicit promise that technology can be managed by the corporation just like any of its other resources such as people, capital, and materials. The term suggests that companies can pick and choose between good technologies that lead to growth and profits, and bad technologies that lead to sterility and decay. It also implies that companies can defend themselves against technological surprises.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1980

John Thackray

National and international productivity puzzles are too abstract and ineffable for the practical businessman to contemplate usefully. But there is at least one way to…

Abstract

National and international productivity puzzles are too abstract and ineffable for the practical businessman to contemplate usefully. But there is at least one way to bring the problem down to earth, and that's through an analysis and understanding of productivity variances between and within different industries and firms. Given this groundwork, the strategist and planner can then begin to study the interaction of all the different factors that bear on productivity—labor, capital, energy, technology, entrepreneurship, etc.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1983

John Thackray

In many ways TRW is the prototypical modern U.S. multinational. The exceptional difference is that in recent years it has wrestled with the problems of managing scale and…

Abstract

In many ways TRW is the prototypical modern U.S. multinational. The exceptional difference is that in recent years it has wrestled with the problems of managing scale and complexity more energetically and perhaps more imaginatively than most conglomerates. Building on the bedrock of classic decentralized management—the same stuff that General Electric pioneered in the Fifties, now the standard operating structure of most U.S. multinationals—TRW has tried desperately to modify some of the increasingly apparent shortcomings of decentralization. While acknowledging that most key decisions bearing on a particular business must be made by autonomous managers using their best judgment, TRW has sought not to be a holding company operation, where management is essentially passive, but rather to bestow broad direction and strategic vision from headquarters. The architect of this program is TRW chairman Ruben Mettler. One of his key lieutenants in this effort is Edward M. Foley, vice president of planning and development. When ex‐accountant Ted Foley arrived at TRW's Cleveland headquarters in the early Seventies, after a succession of operating roles within TRW, company planning was 100 percent decentralized. His mission: to improve the “balance” (perhaps Mettler's favorite word) between divisional independence and top management's perceptions of where future challenges and opportunities lay. TRW was seeking evolutionary change without tampering with their basically decentralized corporate culture. It was an ambitious program with many pitfalls and inherent contradictions. And the struggle for “balance” isn't over yet, as Ted Foley candidly reveals in the following interview with Planning Review.

Details

Planning Review, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

1 – 10 of 76