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MGT 330 Week 2 DQ 2




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Planning 1
Management Planning Paper
Altria Group Inc.
MGT 330

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Planning 2
Planning is a vital function to be considered by companies large and small, when
traversing the various steps in running their businesses. Traditionally, however, large companies
have been on the forefront of strategic planning implementation. Such companies face several
internal and external factors that have an impact on their organization as a whole, but more
specifically, the planning function of management. These factors are often broad, and can include
issues such as ethics, legality, and social responsibility. The Altria Group, Inc. is a company that
is often scrutinized on the basis of ethical and social issues, and these factors have a great impact
on organizational planning.
Previously known as The Phillip Morris Companies, Altria Group Inc. produces a wide
variety of tobacco, beer, and food products. “Altria sells some of the world’s most successful and
best-known packaged goods. Altria’s Philip Morris divisions make several leading cigarette
brands and other tobacco products in the United States and internationally. The Philip Morris
USA division is the nation’s leading cigarette manufacturer. Altria’s food division, Kraft Foods,
Inc., produces a variety of popular cereals, prepared foods, and beverages. Altria is also the
major shareholder in SABMiller plc, formerly known as the Miller Brewing Co., which makes
some of the best-selling beers in the United States and in the world. Altria is based in New York
City. The cigarette brands produced by the Philip Morris divisions include Marlboro, Virginia
Slims, Chesterfield, and Basic. Kraft Foods is one of the world’s largest food companies. Its
brands include Kraft, Maxwell House, Oreo, and Oscar Mayer” (Microsoft® Student 2008
[DVD], 2007)
Altria has come under fire from just about every direction; ranging from accusations of
excessive political lobbying, being named as a defendant in several tobacco related lawsuits, and
developing a harmful and unethical tobacco advertising campaigns, among other things. When a
company must deal with such heated issues, every facet of management planning is affected.

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Planning 3
When companies are faced with severe ethical issues or social backlash, management teams must
scramble to review and revise their comprehensive business plans. This may include redefining
their company image to the public via strategy implementation, or reaffirming their social
responsibility by disclosing past problems while and offering new solutions. Like all business
decisions, these actions should be based on a formal planning stage.
Most obviously, when a company is accused of several unethical actions, the company’s
management team should be looking back at step one of the strategic planning phase, which is to
establish a mission, vision, and goals. “A mission is a clear and concise expression of the basic
purpose of the organization. It describes what the organization does, who it does it for, its basic
good or service, and its values.” (Thomas S. Bateman, 2009)
Considering all of the ethical scrutiny aimed at Altria, it would have been a wise business
decision to review their mission statement and re-evaluate their goals and values. Customers and
share holders react negatively to organizations with ill reputations, and so Altria’s management
would have had to consider even the most infantile stages of their strategic planning. From this
point, a new general strategic plan could be formed. Perhaps Altria’s executives decided to
establish a long term goal to improve their company’s image? If this were so, then Altria could
use the tools of strategic planning to lay the foundation for their upcoming planning phases. For
example, social analysis could be used to determine current political and social issues and their
effect on the well being of the company.
If strategic planning involves formulating a plan to achieve a long term goal, then tactical
planning divides a long term goal into smaller specific goals. Tactical planning, though shorter
term than strategic planning, often has a horizon time of 1-2 years. Tactical plans often focus on
the actions that must be taken for a strategic plan to succeed. For Altria, this could mean relying
on their marketing VPs to devise and launch a positive ad campaign in order to improve
company image. For example, “Altria was named one of the "Top Ten Greenwashers" in 2003 by

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