The need for and improvement of budgetary planning in a multinational corporation

  • Trevor J. Kelsall

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this research is to improve the planning methodology of Dunlop via an analysis of their annual planning system. This was approached via an investigation of how the plans were developed; extensive interviews, which analysed divisional attitudes and approaches to planning; an analysis of forecast accuracy; and participation in the planning system itself.
These investigations revealed certain deficiencies in the operating of the system. In particular, little evidence of formal planning could be found, and some divisions were reacting ex post to the market, rather than planning ex ante. The resulting plans tended to lack resilience and were generally unrealistic, partly because of imposed targets. Similarly, because the links between the elements of the system were often inefficient, previously agreed strategies were not always
The analysis of forecast accuracy in the plans revealed divisions to be poor at most aspects of forecasting. Simple naive models often outperformed divisional forecasts, and much of the error was attributed to systematic, and therefore eliminable factors.
These analyses suggested the need for a new system which is proposed in the form of Budgetary Planning. This system involves conceptual changes within the current planning framework. Such changes aim to revise tactical planning in order to meet the needs placed on it by. in particular, strategic planning.
Budgetary Planning is an innovation in terms of the current planning literature. It is a total system of annual planning aimed at implementing and controlling the iteratively agreed strategies within the current environment. This is achieved by the generation of tactical alternatives, variable funding and concentration of forecast credibility, all of which aid both the realism and the resilience of planning.
Date of AwardJun 1981
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMike Hussey (Supervisor)


  • strategic planning
  • tactical planning
  • forecast accuracy
  • planning systems

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