Scenario Planning and Foresight: Advancing Theory and Improving Practice

George Wright, Frances O'Brien, Maureen Meadows, Efstathios Tapinos, Neil Pyper

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Abstract

In this Introduction, we review the logic that underpinned the earlier call for papers and provide a structured sequence for the contents of the sixteen papers that comprise the special issue. Use of particular foresight tools can have predictable effects on strategy making – providing positive changes in mental models and challenging business-as-usual approaches but, more negatively, can also serve to narrow and shape managers’ anticipations of the future. Any scenario activity necessarily involves simplification and evaluation processes in knowledge elicitation that need to be carefully monitored for effectiveness. In addition, historical analysis of the focal industry’s use of “recipes” can give the scenario practitioner insights into the nature of unfolding futures. Inside the scenario development process, verbal and visual analysis of face-to-face interactions within the scenario team can give insights into process issues and difficulties, and an organisation’s prior involvement with scenario activity may give insights into the likely time-demands of any planned activities. Additionally, stakeholders from different organisations can be facilitated to work effectively together in foresight activities. Such facilitated activities can be used to both develop policy and achieve commonly-held objectives. Two papers provide new guidance on the form of successful Delphi applications. Finally, typologies of both foresight methods/approaches and of intervention practices will allow the reflective practitioner to more fully appreciate the characteristics – both positive and negative – of a particular method and/or intervention type.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120220
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume159
Early online date29 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 159 (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120220

© 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

  • Scenario planning
  • scenario analysis
  • Foresight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology

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