Pagbabanig (mat weaving) as metaphor for strategic planning: A model for de-colonializing strategic planning in higher education

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies

Subject Categories

Higher Education | Strategic Management Policy


College of Liberal Arts


Political Science

Thesis Adviser

Antonio P. Contreras

Defense Panel Chair

Levita Duhaylungsod

Defense Panel Member

Elenita Garcia
Dennis S. Erasga
Roberto E. Javier
Twila G. Punsalan


This dissertation sought to develop a model of strategic planning using pagbabanig (mat weaving) as a metaphorical frame. The researcher was interested to find out what features of strategic planning (target domain) would emerge using the elements of mat weaving (source domain) after conceptual mapping is completed.

The review of literature showed that the human brain could not help but be metaphorical. Metaphor research has shown that everyone cannot escape thinking and comprehending the world metaphorically. Metaphors are not merely a linguistic device but a cognitive device that serves as bridge between two conceptual domains – the source and the target. Source domains are usually concrete concepts used to understand better an abstract concept, the target of our understanding. The Findings in cognitive science have established that abstract concepts such as strategic planning (target domain) can be fully understood using more concrete concepts such as mat weaving (source domain).

Metaphors are not without ideologies. They make us see or unsee things. Ideologies are hegemonic and form part of habitus, one's cultural DNA. With this in mind, the researcher had to deal with her discomfort that strategic planning in higher education is found to be an imported management tool from the military and the corporate sector. It has been asserted by some authors that modernity and colonialism are mutually constitutive. If strategic planning is a western concept and whose practice in the corporate sector is imported by higher education institutions as a modernizing tool, it can be argued therefore, that strategic planning in higher education could contribute to continuing colonialism in our universities. Hegemonic habitus could be at play to make the practice of strategic planning a sublimated form of colonialism.

Metaphor research has allowed the researcher a way out of this conundrum. If metaphors help us see the world a certain way, would not the use of a culturally rooted metaphor such as mat weaving to conceive of strategic planning allow us to develop a strategic planning process that is a de-colonial process as well?

The research used qualitative method to develop the pagbabanig model of strategic planning. In the course of her use of different data gathering tools such as mini-etnography, key judgment method, group conversations, and interview, the researcher discovered what may be considered as an indigenous methodology called pagsasalintulad which is discussed in the prolegomenon.

The pagbabanig model developed has three components, priming, planning, and plan implementation. The priming component refers to things that should be considered prior to actual planning. It consists of assembling the planning team identifying the university's internal and external stakeholders and who will participate in the SP process establishing the baseline data getting familiar with organizational history and culture determining the human and material resources of the university providing the appropriate venue, sufficient time, and right atmosphere for the strategic planning activities and deciding on the format of the strategic plan. The second component refers to the planning activities or the steps and principles to consider in designing the actual planning process. It consists of setting the parameters and backward planning, making the process participatory, building the plan through interlacing steps, ensuring decisions are negotiated and inclusive, closing the planning process properly, and making adjustment when necessary. The last component is plan implementation. The plan that is crafted should be implementable. The final "design" should be attractive to the stakeholders whose expectations should have been negotiated effectively in the strategic plan. All stakeholders will then feel a sense of ownership of the plan and will identify themselves with it. It is only when stakeholders are satisfied with what they see in the plan that they will willingly support and implement it.

The pagbabanig model of strategic planning emphasizes the following principles in strategic planning: 1. The process and product in strategic planning cannot be separated. 2. Strategic planning does not end when the plan is crafted. It continues to be adjusted until the plan becomes the university. 3. Time is a key element in strategic planning. 4. Strategic planning is a process of identity formation both individual and institutional. 5. Strategic planning is not a choice between results and relationships. It is both. 6. Strategic planning is not a choice between a top-down or a bottom-up approach. It is multi-drectional. Finally, it is hoped that this study contributes to our collective desire to make our de-colonial project bear fruit.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall


Strategic planning; Weaving; Education, Higher; Metaphor

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