Details for Strategic Thinking and Planning

A few years ago Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek church, confronted his church team with the question: “Are we making a difference?” Hybels leads a mega-church, has written multiple best-selling books and is a sought after speaker…yet he asks himself and his team this question: “Are we making a difference?” Hybels is a strategic thinker. Strategic thinkers constantly remind themselves and their team of the purpose of their organisation and ask in the light of this purpose: Where are we now (are we making a difference), where do we want to be and how are we going to get there? In ‘Strategic Thinking and Planning’ we unpack these questions and look at what the Bible as well as contemporary management texts offer to help us in our quest to turn our visions into reality and make a difference.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: LEA302
  • Credit points: 10


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Strategic Thinking and Planning

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective

This unit aims to introduce students to strategic thinking for organisational planning.  While this is an extensive area, it is important for students to grasp the need for clarity of thinking, the holding of clear objectives, and the value of proactivity rather than reactivity, flexibility, coordination, commitment and operation from a secure base.


Students should be able to:

  1. Ability to critically assess individual and organisational purpose and mission in the light of a Christian worldview. This includes consideration of other Christian perspectives and understandings;
  2. Evaluate the implications of individual and organisational purpose. This includes factors such as social, environmental and community impact.
  3. Analyse an organisation’s expressed and tacit visions and goals;
  4. display an ability to generate creative and effective plans related to those visions and goals;
  5. Explain strategic thinking for organisations. This includes key approaches to strategy;
  6. Demonstrate ability for clear thinking, problem solving, flexibility and commitment to task.

Subject Content

  1. Christian worldview and its implications for individual and organisational purpose
  2. Christianity meets reason: philosophy and thinking processes.
  3. The purpose of Vision and vision casting
  4. Effective teams
  5. Vision Planning: Understanding the dynamic environment
  6. Vision Planning: Developing a strategic plan Flexibility: maintain or create?
  7. Models of problem solving and strategies for success
  8. Resourcing and organisational security

This course may be offered in the following formats

Lectures, guided discussion/reflections, tutorials, Web-based simulations, games.

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods

  • Forum Postings 20% (2500 words);
  • Strategic Project 40% (2000)
  • Major Essay 40% (2000 words)

Prescribed Text

  • Primary readings provided

Representative References

Recommended Reading:

  • Barna, G., The habits of highly effective churches:  being strategic in your God-given ministry. Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1999
  • Bryson, J.M. Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organisations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organisational Achievement. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, 2004.
  • Conradie, Hennie F., ‘Non-governmental organisations and financial sustainability’. Development Southern Africa, vol. 16 no. 2, (Winter 1999) pp.291-8
  • Clegg, S., ...[et al], Strategy: Theory and Practice, UK: Sage, 2011.
  • David, F.R., Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, Sydney: Prentice-Hall, 2006.
  • Grant, R., Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Concepts, Techniques, Applications, 7th Ed, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
  • Hafsi, Taïeb and Thomas, Howard, ‘Strategic Management and Change in High Dependency Environments: The Case of a Philanthropic Organization,’ Voluntas, vol. 16, issue 4 (December 2005), pp. 329-351
  • Haines, Stephen G., Strategic and systems thinking: beyond the learning organization, San Diego, DE: Systems Thinking Press, 2003
  • Hanson, D, ...[et al], Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalisation, 4th Ed, Melbourne: Cengage Learning, 2011.
  • Johnson, G., ...[et al], Exploring Strategy, 9th Ed, Edinburgh: Pearson Education, 2011.
  • Johnson, G.,& Scholes, K., Exploring Corporate Strategy, 8th Ed, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000.
  • Malphurs, A., Advanced Strategic Planning, 2nd ed., Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005.
  • Mintzberg, H., & Quinn, J., The Strategy Process, 4th Ed, New York: Prentice Hall, 2002
  • Oster, S., Strategic Management for Non-profit Organisations.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995
  • Robinson, A. B., Transforming Congregational Culture, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
  • Ryall, M. & Sadler, P., Strategic Management (MBA Masterclass Series). Sterling, VA: Kogan, 2003
  • Strategic Management Society Staff, The SMS Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Capabilities: Emergence, Development and Change.  Oxford: Blackwell, 2003
  • Thompson, A., Strickland, A., & Gamble, J.E. Crafting and Executing Strategy: Texts and Readings. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2005.
  • Wit, B. & Meyer, R. Strategy- Process, Content, Context: An International Perspective. London: Thomson Learning, 2004.


  • International review of strategic management
  • Strategic management journal
  • Strategic organization
  • Business strategy review