It is argued that the development of strategy in organizations will be more effective if it is seen as predominantly a social rather than analytical process. The strategic planner is a servant of a management team and not of some abstract organization. The success of the strategic planner can only be measured by the extent to which it influences the thinking and action of other people. Using the notion of organizations as negotiated order, it is suggested that designed Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) can play an important role in facilitating the negotiation of strategy. Six "support systems" are presented: 1. SODA (Strategic Options Developments Analysis), 2. strategic choice, 3. decision conferencing, 4. SAST (Strategic Assumptions Surfacing and Testing), 5. SSM (Soft Systems Methodology), and 6. system dynamics modelling. It is implied that planners might see themselves as facilitators managing both "socially negotiated order" and "negotiated social order."
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