Strategic planning is an element of strategic management. It has the objective to identify trend breaks and to forecast new trends and opportunities as well as to develop and to implement appropriate strategies as early as possible. Strategic planning has to ensure that organizations can achieve their objectives, despite complexity and uncertainty.
Different industries have to manage different levels of complexity and uncertainty as well as various key success factors. Furthermore regulatory and cultural aspects can have a major impact on management in an industry; hence it was essential to find criteria that ensure that participating organizations have similar conditions to a certain degree. Taking this into account, it was recommended to have some delimitation in terms of industry and geographic focus.
Taking into account the dynamic situation and the impact of strategic planning for retail banks as well as the benefits from focusing on a particular type of business, the European retail banking industry was chosen for the focus of research.
The key issue addressed in this research is: How can retail banks in Europe ensure an appropriate application of the strategic planning process in order to meet the challenges of strategic planning and the challenges of their industry?
Due to this question I conclude that there are specific methods, tools and conditions that are appropriate for strategic planning in retail banks and which can overcome some of the barriers and problems in strategic planning. I also propose that certain risk management issues will be considered in strategic planning.
Considering the focus (Strategic planning in European retail banking business) a set of questions can be derived, e.g.:
Due to the discussed research question and research issues this thesis pursues both a cognitive and a pragmatic scientific aim.
The cognitive scientific aim focuses on the analysis and forecast of the research object. In terms of this thesis the cognitive scientific aim is to analyze the transferability of the strategic planning process and its tools on the business of retail banking. For example it is required to understand the process of strategic planning both in theory and practice and to understand current key success factors in retail banking business.
The pragmatic scientific aim pursues the derivation of practically applicable instructions and measures from the results of theoretical science conceptions, e.g. what could be structure and conditions of the planning process in terms of a best practice approach?
Last but not least there is practical application of the research outcome. The practical application is to understand successful solutions of an effective strategic planning system in European retail banks as well as to understand their approaches (i.e. structures, process), premises and conditions. Considering these findings, another practical aim is to develop recommendations for strategic planning excellence.