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First steps: Towards purposeful activities in scenario thinking and future studies

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Abstract

In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of the field of scenario development and future studies, which has been a key debate in Futures over the past three of four years. Our contribution is less on the philosophical issues surrounding future studies, but more on the hurdles faced by those interested in practising in the area of scenario planning and future studies. The issues presented and discussed in this article arise from a number of action learning research projects that we have conducted with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland, who have embraced scenario development for the first time as part of their strategic management and learning process.

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... Uncertainty has therefore become an important issue in the globalised business environment with organisations being required to think through and anticipate potential problems, in order to map out possible ways of dealing with the changes (Johnston et al., 2008). This bring to fore the criticality of firms anticipating changes in their external business environment and planning on how to manoeuvre through the unexpected challenges in the immediate, medium, and long term (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Chermack et al., 2001). Organisations are therefore increasingly under heightened pressure to adopt a long-term and systematic view into the future to effectively make sense of the driving forces in the external environment, and strategically adapt to ensure survival or achieve competitive advantage (Amer et al., 2013). ...
... Notwithstanding, the prevailing wisdom about scenario planning among scholars is that, it is practiced by larger organisations and at national levels (Chermack et al., 2001;Saritas and Oner, 2004), and often carries the hallmarks of large-scale projects, which only large firms can do (Chermack et al., 2000;Wack, 1985;Burt and van der Heijden, 2003). Moreover, the increasing trend of scenario planning in organisations has been noted (Rigby and Bilodeau, 2007) with some scholars reporting a link between scenario planning and innovation (Sarpong and Maclean, 2011). ...
... Much of this scholarly work however is focused on large organisations. A handful of research has so far been dedicated to examining the use of scenario planning by SMEs (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Johnston et al., 2008;Jannek and Burmeister, 2008). ...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the value of scenario planning to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and further examine the challenges constraining the uptake of scenario planning by SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual review of the literature on scenario planning in SMEs intended to unpack and capture the possible underlying reasons accounting for the limited uptake of scenario planning by managers/owners of SMEs has informed the formulation of this paper. Findings – The study uncovered that SMEs’ managerial mental models, SMEs’ managerial time orientation, severe resource constraints, and industry complexity are some of the salient factors inhibiting the use of scenario planning among managers/owners of SMEs. The author develops a framework of propositions that account for the complexity and challenges of scenario planning by SMEs for future empirical examination and validation. Originality/value – The conventional wisdom is that scenario planning is carried out by large and established firms, and that SMEs are unable to adopt and practice the technique. This paper uncovers that SME have substantial needs for scenario planning, but are only able to engage in simple foresight activities such as brainstorming, desk research, networking and expert interviews to monitor their external environment. They are unable to effectively use scenario planning in its purest form as in large firms. By bringing together the reasons accounting for the difficulty of SMEs to practice scenario planning in its purest form as large firms do, the study therefore extends the limited discourse on scenario planning among SMEs. Implications are discussed and areas for future empirical studies provided.
... It includes a culture of innovation, valuing new ideas for decision making. Mason (2003); Lesca (2003); Burt and Heijden (2003); Vishnevskiy, Karasev and Meissner (2015); Kanwal, Singh and Samalia (2017). ...
... According to Burt and Heijden (2003), who affirm the importance of open and clear dialogues between the intelligence teams, there was an approach in reference to the experts' judgment on policies for communicating ideas and knowledge. With this, the question "there are policies to encourage the communication of ideas and knowledge by employees of the organization" was rewritten to "A culture conducive to the intelligence process must consider the importance of the existence and dissemination of policies to encourage the communication of ideas and knowledge by employees of the organization". ...
... ; Meunier-Fitzhugh and Piercy (2010); Capatina and Bleoju (2012); Hattula et al. (2015); Cekuls (2015a, b); Capatina et al. (2016); Kanwal et al. (2017); Asghari et al. (2019). encouragement and appreciation of team communication, with open dialogues and information sharing.Lim and Klobas (2000);Burt and Heijden (2003);Capatina and Bleoju (2012),Hammoud and Nash (2014);Hattula et al. (2015). ...
Article
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RESUMO Organizations have recognized intelligence processes to deal with uncertainties, anticipate and better direct their decisions, aiming at greater competitiveness and sustainability. Among the influencing factors in these processes, culture, built by values, standards and behaviors, is strongly highlighted. In order to identify which characteristics are present in the culture of intelligence, we explore different elements covered in the literature. Studies point to cultural factors of leadership, communication, trust and collaboration, learning, and an orientation to the future and innovation as capable of influencing the intelligence processes. Aiming to identify factors of organizational culture that can influence intelligence processes in organizations, a SLR was carried out to form the construct “intelligence culture”, with validation by specialists, via Card Sorting and Delphi method. As a result, factors as leadership, appropriate communication and team awareness were identified. In terms of theoretical contribution, this study identifies the organizational culture factors which can influence the intelligence processes, uniting findings from the literature and the intelligence specialists’ opinions. It also proposes an instrument that can serve as a reference for future studies of culture factors and intelligence in organizations. In practical terms, organizations can diagnose and think strategies that develop the organizational culture in their processes.
... Nell'analisi delle motivazioni che lo hanno spinto verso questa direzione, egli fa riferimento ad alcuni studi che dimostravano già in quegli anni (McNees, Ries, 1983) come l'attendibilità delle previsioni statistiche circa i trend economici diminuisse esponenzialmente con l'aumentare dell' orizzonte temporale di riferimento. A quasi cinquant'anni di distanza e nonostante i progressi tecnologici nel campo dei modelli matematici predittivi, l'influenza dello scenario thinking si è allagata ad altre discipline informando i processi decisionali legati a politiche urbane e territoriali (Jetter, 2003;Burt, van der Heijden, 2003;Varum, Melo, 2010). Le rapide ed intense trasformazioni degli assetti ecologici, sociali ed economici che devono essere fronteggiati nella governance di territori complessi restano tuttora difficilmente mappabili. ...
... Almost fifty years later, and despite technological advances in predictive mathematical models, the influence of scenario thinking extended to other disciplines by informing decision-making processes related to urban and territorial policies (Jetter, 2003;Burt andvan der Heijden, 2003, Varum andMelo, 2010). The rapid and intense transformations of the ecological, social and economic structures that must be faced by the governance of complex territories are still difficult to map and manage. ...
Article
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The contribution describes opportunities and advantages related to the use of the “scenarios” approach in the design of resilient anthropic systems. A methodology that aims to support, from the early stages of the decision-making process, strategical choices concerning complex works and areas by duration, size and interactions with the environment. A model that, given the current situation of extreme economic and environmental uncertainty, could represent an effective collaboration protocol between decision makers, designers and experts of various disciplines, especially in the development of large-scale infrastructure systems and human settlements that involve extended planning and implementation timings, requiring a high degree of programmed adaptability.
... Indeed, such encouragement is part of the process and will help to create new possibilities and different insights. Considering multiple possible scenarios; i.e. considering several future alternatives assist in conducting future planning in a holistic way [15], and drastically improves the ability to deal with the uncertainty and utility of the decision-making process global decision; [68]. The scenarios reached a completely new dimension in the early 70s with the Pierre Wack's work, who was a planner in the London offices of Royal Dutch/Shell (international petroleum group), resulting in a newly formed department called Group Planning [72]. ...
... The Table 1 shows the prospection pertains to the search of future possibilities and their prevision. The ability to look towards the future and "direct it" is part of the context of planning in organizations, and as some authors have noted [15,35,63], the use of prospective scenarios is one of the most appropriate tools for the defining of strategies in turbulent and uncertain environments. With the building of multiple scenarios, a company can systematically explore the possible consequences of these uncertainties regarding its strategic options. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a model integrates future scenario planning techniques, based on the Multicriteria Decision Aid (MCDA) approach, which can be used as a tool for attending companies' strategic planning, applying it to an engineering company services, located in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The motivation of the studied theme is the possibility of applying MCDA techniques added to the future scenario concepts planning as a tool for strategic (and progress) planning. Thus, the usefulness of the proposed model was proven, since it enabled the manager to analyse investment alternatives in the light of the future prospecting conducted. Recent discussions suggest the use of resources in an optimized way due to the increasing scarcity. This fact makes decision-making and strategic planning based on future scenarios a complex task, since it has multiple and uncertain alternatives. A bibliographic review was performed to identify methods are more applicable to the problems. An innovative proposal is made to unite prospective with multicriteria in a compensatory problem; proposing a methodology with six steps.
... The creation of stories maps the future terrain through a systematic analysis of the key drivers of contextual change. (McKiernan, 2008(McKiernan, , p. 1391 Organisations adopt scenario planning for a wide range of reasons (Burt & van der Heijden, 2003). Wright et al. (2013) have identified three main purposes: (i) enhancing understanding of causal processes, connections and logical sequences of events that may play a role in shaping the future; (ii) improving strategic decision-making; and (iii) changing mindsets and reframing perceptions in organisations. ...
... Defining the focal issue, key stakeholders and horizon year (how far into the future the scenarios will look) e.g. Burt & van der Heijden, 2003;Cairns et al., 2016 Two Generating a list of 'forces' or 'trends' driving the future, normally using a PESTEL (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal) framework initially through a combination of brainstorming and research e.g. Burt et al., 2006;Wright et al., 2013 Three Clustering the driving forces using causal mapping or influence diagrams e.g. ...
Book
Cambridge Core - Strategic Management - Scenario Thinking - by R. Bradley MacKay
... According to van der Heijden et al. (2002, 22) overcoming thinking limitations through developing multiple futures is a competitive advantage to the firm in that it enables "businesses to avoid conventional approaches that may be easily predicted and parried by a competitor, allowing new business ideas to be invented instead." Burt & van der Heijden (2003) propose that the idea of multiple futures naturally stretches and widens managers' viewpoints and opens up the possibility to explore imaginatively the possible impact of contextual driving forces in the markets, which is impossible to achieve if only one forecast is tabled. The enhanced perception of potential future operating environments stimulates management to determine best responses for each, some of which may inspire new offerings or new business models, or engender innovation along other dimensions. ...
... This immersion stimulates opportunities assessment and creative--innovative responses thereto. Burt & van der Heijden (2003) relate this innovativeness to the greater confidence in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity that scenarios provide: a confidence that derives from having "experienced" important dimensions of the future operating environment. ...
Book
Full-text available
Scenario planning has steadily grown to become a significant part of business and organisational foresight processes, particularly where planning situations demand approaches beyond traditional forecasting, due to extent of uncertainty variables or length of future time under consideration. However, despite general consensus as to the importance of the scenario approach in general, and rapid growth in both theory and practice in the field, fundamental questions remain over which situations are most tractable to scenario planning and why; and, in the face of uneven success in application, which among an apparent myriad scenario planning approaches best serves different planning situations, or organisations holding different goals. This dissertation makes an intervention into this problem, investigating to what extent scenario planning projects can be separated by underlying project purpose, and, based on original primary case studies and case-­‐based structured interviews, finds that two meta-­‐categories of purpose exist, which are here referred to as " adaptive " and " visionary-­‐advocacy " purposes. It is argued that a purpose-­‐based distinction of scenario modes provides part-­‐explanation of the effective basis, or absence thereof, of scenario work for different situations—a basis which is achieved via congruence of scenario project purpose with (a) underlying organisational planning purpose, and (b) the extent of organisational influence over external conditions, including macro-­‐variables of change, that constrain it. These findings suggest additions to scenario method as currently understood, particularly pre-­‐project analysis (audits) of both an organisation's planning purpose and its external constraint conditions, to ascertain the presence of absence of necessary congruencies, so as to inform adoption of the purpose platform (and allied methodology) more likely to produce successful outcomes in application. iv This dissertation is dedicated to the memory of Professor Colin Firer, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
... FDM for technology transfer methods is shown in Appendix 1. The decision matrix is completed using linguistic variables shown in Table 5. [5,6,7,8,1] Good (G) [7,8,8,9, 1] Very Good (VG) [8,9,10,10,1] After the calculation of the normalized FDM and weighted normalized FDM, closeness coefficient is calculated for all combinations of three ideal solution possibilities and four similarity measure choices resulting in twelve different orders of closeness coefficient for TTS. Resulted closeness coefficient orders are shown in Table 8. ...
... FDM for technology transfer methods is shown in Appendix 1. The decision matrix is completed using linguistic variables shown in Table 5. [5,6,7,8,1] Good (G) [7,8,8,9, 1] Very Good (VG) [8,9,10,10,1] After the calculation of the normalized FDM and weighted normalized FDM, closeness coefficient is calculated for all combinations of three ideal solution possibilities and four similarity measure choices resulting in twelve different orders of closeness coefficient for TTS. Resulted closeness coefficient orders are shown in Table 8. ...
Article
Decision making under uncertainty is one of the most important steps required for long-term development policy making. Robust policy making is the analytical framework proposed for finding stable policies to face future uncertainties. In this paper, a qualitative robust policy making mode is proposed via the application of scenario based fuzzy TOPSIS. In this study, technology transfer is categorized as complex problem with regard to the imprecise information about the future of the technology and its environment. This paper indicates how different technology transfer strategies can be ranked considering different future scenarios based on fuzzy TOPSIS. Iran gas industry is studied as a case study to rank technology transfer strategies using four future scenarios. Fuzzy TOPSIS is implemented with four similarity measures and three ideal solutions. According to overall ranking results, internal research and development (R&D) is selected as the most appropriate technology transfer strategy for facing future uncertainties in Iran gas industry. Joint venture and license purchasing are the next two appropriate technology transfer strategies introduced to ensure faster ways of technology transfer and work force training in one hand and hedging risks of future uncertainties of the system on the other.
... As with a wide range of scenario definitions, scholars also point out that there appears to be a confusing array of reasons why organizations might engage in scenario planning ; also see Burt and van der Heijden, 2003). Wright et al. (2013) have helpfully identified three primary purposes that the majority of scenario planning interventions are used for in the extant literature. ...
... e.g. Burt and van der Heijden (2003) and Cairns et al. (2016). ...
Article
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This paper draws on a social theory-informed understanding of causality to illustrate how notions of agent–structure interactions can enhance the intuitive logics (IL) approach to scenario planning. It incorporates concepts such as the ‘subjective’ predispositions of agency, ‘objective’ structures of social systems, activity dependence, unintended consequences of action and event-time temporality in the IL method to augment causal analysis in the scenario development process. The paper illustrates the social theory-informed IL framework through its application to a scenario exercise undertaken in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom on September 18th, 2014. The central thesis of the paper is that agent–structure interactions underpin the unfolding of futures in social systems by both constraining and enabling the range of possible futures that can emerge
... The study presented here considers plausible futures of nature-based tourism in the Asia-Pacific, expressed through the development of a range of scenarios (Burt andvan der Heijden 2003, p. 1013). This approach based on plausibility is arguably more theoretically sound than merely pondering possible futures (Ramirez, Selsky, and van der Heijden 2008). ...
... The use of the Delphi technique, an expert-informed method used for forecasting (Miller 2001), was originally considered but rejected as inappropriate, given that consensus was unlikely to be achieved as a result of the long time frame of the study (2050) and the volatility of the sector. This method also jarred with our conviction that the future is inherently uncertain and unpredictable (Burt and van der Heijden 2003), making it impossible to "identify the most likely pathway and estimate uncertainties" (Amer, Daim, and Jetter 2013, p. 25). The epistemological basis of the study is therefore critical realism, where "knowledge is conjectural . . . ...
Article
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There appears to be widespread respect for and interest in nature among Asia-Pacific societies, which has strong cultural and religious roots, contrary to the popular view that this is mainly a Western concern. This article projects the growing demand for nature-based tourism in the Asia-Pacific region into the future, using examples of protected areas, zoos, and nature-based spas. The current status of nature-based tourism in the region is discussed, before exploring future scenarios. Findings suggest that this strong attachment to nature may manifest itself in overdevelopment and overuse of natural attractions by 2050, based on seven key drivers identified in this study, including the rise of an affluent and educated middle class, increased urbanization, and a “development at all costs” mentality.
... They would instead prefer terms such as 'the Pierre Wack approach' or 'the Shell tradition' or simply 'scenario planning' (e.g. Burt & van der Heijden, 2003;Miller & Waller, 2003;Schoemaker, 1993;Wilkinson, 2009). ...
... Since the publication of this book, a large number of authors in the literature refer to the construct of strategic conversation in their publications (e.g. Balarezo & Nielsen, 2016;Burt & van der Heijden, 2003;Burt et al. 2017;Cairns et al., 2006;MacKay & Tambeau, 2013;Ramírez et al., 2015;Ratcliffe 2002;Tapinos, 2013;Wilkinson & Eidinow, 2008;Wright & Goodwin, 2009). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The focus of this study is scenario planning, an approach that is widely used by businesses, policy makers and NGOs to explore the future in a systematic manner. Despite the extensive use of scenario planning and more than 50 years of scholarship, the field is still in a preparadigmatic state and scenario planning lacks a theoretical and methodological foundation. This research aims to address this gap by developing a foundation of principles and theory of scenario planning. Focusing on the intuitive logics tradition, the researcher examined the practice of scenario planning, i.e. what scenario planning experts do when exploring the future. The central research question that guides this thesis is: What practices do intuitive logics scenario planning experts enact when exploring the future? The researcher conducted multiple case studies and data were collected in very extensive and in-dept interviews with many of the world leading experts on scenario planning from Royal Dutch Shell and Global Business Network (GBN). This research found that scenario planning experts seek to understand the clients of the scenario planning project, establish the scenario focus, examine the external environment, develop scenario sets, challenge the assumptions and beliefs of the clients, and catalyse conversation and dialogue. The findings of this study are novel and challenge several well-established ideas in the literature. Remarkably, the findings of this study suggest that the term intuitive logics is not an appropriate name for the field and that the GBN 2x2 matrix method is not the ‘standard’ or ‘dominant’ approach. Most importantly, the practice of scenario planning was found to be surprisingly similar among the participants of this study, however, the way it is enacted can also be vastly different among experts and projects. This is important work that matters, especially in our turbulent times. The findings of this study inform and support the practice of scenario planning, contribute credibility and legitimacy to the field, as well as provide a foundation for further field building.
... The rapidly shifting business environment requires the cultivating and sustaining of strategic foresight at all times. In this context, the limitation with corporate foresight exercises lies in their episodic approach to thinking in the organisation about the future (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Cunha, Palma, & da Costa, 2006), and its reliance on external facilitators who may (un) purposefully direct employees attention to irrelevant features of social currents that may have little impact on the future (Sarpong, Maclean & Alexander, 2013). ...
... People are unsure whether it is a process for reaching better decisions; a way to know the future better; or a combination of both" [12]. As Burt and van der Heidjen [13] note, most of the literature assumes as a starting point that there is an existing need for the scenarios and an expected outcome benefit, which has previously been articulated and agreed to by the relevant parties. This state-of-play may now be changing as, according to Chermack, "scenario planning professionals are just beginning to consider the importance of defining what they do and explicitly stating what they intend to achieve by doing it" [14]. ...
... Looking beyond current boundaries requires new boundaries. The underlying question here is how wide the searchlight is and how to appraise the signals this widened searchlight produces (see also: Burt and Van der Heijden, 2003); Van 't Klooster and Van Asselt, 2006;Van Notten et al., 2003). ...
... Scenario analysis has been increasingly applied to different disciplines in a variety of ways and there is a multiplicity of scenario typologies (for a review see EEA, 2001;van Notten et al., 2003). Descriptive forecasting scenarios, among which baseline, (reference, or non-intervention) scenarios, describe possible futures thus allowing to imaginatively explore the possible impacts of certain development patterns (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003). But scenarios can be also used for testing management options with respect to their effects upon the environment or for hindcasting, i.e. for exploring how to achieve a desirable (normative) future situation (van Notten et al., 2003). ...
... There are many examples of successful application of scenario planning in practice at an organisational level, including Shell (Cornelius et al., 2005;Grant, 2003;Leemhuis, 1985), British Airways (Moyer, 1996) and ICL (Ringland, 1998). However, there is a lack of understanding as to how individuals cope with ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty (and the corresponding lack of certainty) whilst experiencing the scenarios process (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Mackay and McKiernan, 2004;Wright, 2005). As a consequence, little is known of the extent to which participant readiness to engage in scenario planning might impact the effectiveness of the process. ...
Article
In this paper we examine the impact of participant readiness to engage with, perform and benefit from scenario planning processes. Central to our examination is the concept of ‘openness disposition’, which in the context of scenario planning refers to the tendency to seek either to hold open ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty, or look for closure, simplification and surety when engaging in strategic conversations. Readiness indicates the capacity of individuals and collectives to work with competing narratives, dilemmas, tensions and differences of opinion, as may occur in scenario work. A focus on readiness through openness disposition enables critical evaluation of the utility of scenario planning to different individuals and groups based on their capacity to engage with equivocality during structured, exploratory strategic conversations. Based on findings emerging from a longitudinal field study with ProRail N.V. Holland, we empirically identify three characteristics of participant readiness, which are theorised to extend understanding of how individuals and groups might engage in, cope and benefit from, scenario planning processes.
... Due to the high uncertainty inherent in long-term scenarios, these should be refined and adjusted regularly as a way to assist decision-making. In other words, SP as a decision support mechanism must be a continuous, iterative process, and not a one-time, episodic exercise (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Heinonen and Lauttamäki, 2012;Mahmoud et al., 2009;Sarpong, 2011). ...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to identify four areas in need of future research to enhance the theoretical understanding of scenario planning (SP), and sets the basis for future empirical examination of its effects on individual and organizational level outcomes. Design/methodology/approach This paper organizes existing contributions on SP within a new consolidating framework that includes antecedents, processes and outcomes. The proposed framework allows for integration of the extant literature on SP from a wide variety of fields, including strategic management, finance, human resource management, operations management and psychology. Findings This study contributes to research by offering a coherent and consistent framework for understanding SP as a dynamic process. As such, it offers future researchers with a systematic way to ascertain where a particular study may be located in the SP process and, importantly, how it may influence – or be influenced by – various factors in the process. Originality/value This study offers specific research questions and precise guidelines to future scholars pursuing research on SP.
... Scenarios are "tools for foresight" (de Geus, 1997) which help people to explore the future. Burt & Van der Heijden (2003) identify four purposeful reasons for developing scenarios, one of which is to support the development of robust strategy or strategic options; some go so far as to say that scenarios are the link between the future and strategy (Lindgren & Banhold, 2003). In the context of strategy support, scenarios also help managers to explore how their external environment may develop into the future so that current and future strategic options can be tested or wind-tunnelled against the set of scenarios to see how robust they are. ...
Article
Scenarios are tools that help managers to identify critical uncertainties and describe possible futures; they typically focus on an organisation's external environment. Scenarios are often used by organisations to explore how their external environment may develop in the future and to consider its impact on their strategy. However, in order to develop strategy, an organisation needs also to consider the internal environment, in terms of its resources and capabilities, such as that presented within the Resource-Based View of the firm (RBV). This paper proposes a novel methodology for enhancing the scenario method through its serial integration with a method from the RBV field, namely that of resource mapping. The methodology provides the ability to support the "rehearsal" of a firm's strategic performance over time by exploring how the firm's resources and capabilities interact with the competitive environment and with the various scenarios. We illustrate our proposed method with an example of its use in a teaching setting by a group of postgraduate students along with a short description of its application within a company. We reflect on the design of the method and the early experiences of using it. The main contribution of the proposed method is that it provides an integrated approach linking scenarios with strategy development and evaluation. The paper ends with suggestions for further research.
... Normative scenarios represent desirable future worlds. They are also self-consistent and employ credible cause, effect and feedback relationships to get from the present to the future state (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003). ...
Article
According to most of energy sector experts, at least in the next two decades, fossil energy plays important role in fulfilling required energy in the world. Based on these conditions, the investigation of the conditions of major countries providing natural gas in the world can be useful in analysis of future development of this clean fuel. According to the latest estimations of British Petroleum Company, Iran with 18.2% natural gas reservoirs has the first natural gas reservoirs in the world. The main purpose of this paper is developing scenarios of gas industry in Iran. To achieve the mentioned goals, besides investigation of existing methods of scenario design and existing production scenarios, natural gas export and consumption in Iran and the world in 2035, the most important scenarios of gas industry in Iran are formulated by critical uncertainty analysis approach using quantitative advanced time based impact analysis in 2035 horizon.
... En scenarioanalyse skal ha et klart beslutningsmål. I innledningen til arbeidet må derfor formålet med scenarioene avklares (Burt og van der Heijden 2003). I litteraturen fremmes det to supplementaere perspektiver på anvendelse av scenarioer i en innovasjonskontekst. ...
Article
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Artikkelen belyser hvordan bedrifter kan omgjøre fremtidsbilder til strategiske beslutninger for innovasjon. I første del av artikkelen drøftes teori og begreper som omhandler koblingen mellom scenarioanalyse og innovasjon. Det vises blant annet til hvilke bidrag strategisk fremsyn kan gi i innovasjonsarbeid, herunder tre roller som strategisk fremsyn kan spille for å styrke en virksomhets innovasjonskapasitet. I andre del av artikkelen bygger vi på en studie av tre norske selskaper som samarbeider om utviklingen av fremtidsbilder for å innovere. Studien viser at fremtidsbilder har potensial til å fremme innovasjon ved å identifisere og derigjennom gjøre det mulig å møte sentrale utviklingstrekk i bedriftens omgivelser. Fremtidsbilder kan gi beslutningstakere ny forståelse, og dermed åpne for innovasjonsmuligheter. Studien viser også viktigheten av at formålet med fremtidsbildene er klargjort før arbeidet starter. Casen har for øvrig lært oss at det er nødvendig å utvikle veikart som angir utviklingsbanene frem mot fremtidsbildene, slik at innovasjonstiltak kan planlegges og gjennomføres til riktig tid.
... Here, speculative futures can be understood as the use of speculative design (design deployed to explore how things could be) regarding the future and used to re-imagine and sometimes critique the present (Dunne & Raby, 2013). The relevance of speculative futures or futures scenarios to facilitate plural perspectives makes sense when considering how engaging with futures might be useful for shifting one's perspective to a more systemic level (Burt & van der Heijden, 2003;Forlano, 2018;Tunstall, 2013); Faste, 2016), allowing one to think beyond the boundaries of oneself (i.e. the human self) and hence build upon the need of experiencing different temporalities and discover perspectives beyond the traditional time scales and/or binary thinking. Additionally, engaging with futures seems valuable also as a means to experience a different view of the world in general, in this case the view of the world as entangled rather than anthropocentric since engaging with futures means anticipating different realities in an exercise of imagination along with new values and sensitivities (Granjou et al., 2017). ...
Article
We are living in an earth crisis and the world at large is demanding profound change. Some researchers claim that one necessary shift to accomplish this change is that from anthropocentrism to non-anthropocentrism. This shift has, e.g., been explored in design research. This paper aims to give voice to the design processes and experiences along The Age of Entanglement project, a project in which designers collaborated with professionals from diverse fields ranging from philosophy and biology to space engineering, to further their understanding of what a shift to non-anthropocentrism might entail. As we interviewed and observed these designers in their discussions a number of thematic challenges were touched upon: How to engage with temporalities, how to collaborate productively across diverse disciplines, how to find appropriately inclusive language for expressing ideas, how to express entanglement through concrete and clear examples as well as how to maintain a productive humble and open-minded overall disposition in the designers’ sense.
... In examining the potential impacts of emergent technologies, the interest is primarily in the interactions between trends of change [15]. The exploration and communication of such an analysis is therefore typically framed as 'scenarios' -coherent stories that describe the way the world might look in the future when multiple critical uncertainties combine [16]- [18]. Insight into the nature of emerging technology opportunities and threats are often found embedded within these stories. ...
Conference Paper
Rapid technological innovations, including the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), introduce a range of uncertainties, opportunities, and risks. While it is not possible to accurately foresee IoT's myriad ramifications, futures and foresight methodologies allow for the exploration of plausible futures and their desirability. Drawing on the futures and foresight literature, the current paper employs a standardised expert elicitation approach to study emerging risk patterns in descriptions of IoT risk scenarios. We surveyed 19 IoT experts between January and February 2018 using an online questionnaire. The submitted scenarios provided expert's perception of evolving IoT risk trajectories and were evaluated using thematic analysis, a method used to identify and report patterns within data. Four common themes were extracted: physical safety; crime and exploitation; loss of control; and social norms and structures. These themes provide suitable analytical tools to contextualise emerging risks and help detecting gaps about security and privacy challenges in the IoT.
... A time-consuming process specifically mentioned by survey respondents and other research participants was the need for those involved in the scenario development process (including the scenario planning professional) to get to know each other and develop mutual understanding and a trusting working relationship. As found by others (eg, Burt and van der Heijden, 2003; Ravera et al, 2011), this proved to be an ongoing challenge in some projects, given the diversity of actors and contentious issues involved. Also time-consuming are the cognitive challenges that scenarios pose. ...
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Adapting to climate change is a new responsibility for state and local government. Yet there is little clarity about what is involved, beyond an expectation of acting in a rational, informed manner. This paper presents a study from Victoria, Australia into public servants' perceptions and experiences of using scenario techniques for adaptation. It suggests that while scenario development is often positive for those involved, utilising scenarios to directly 'inform' adaptation decision making is more difficult. It seems that scenarios are a valuable but awkward form of evidence in the contemporary environment of evidence-based adaptation, introducing new substantive knowledge in an unfamiliar form, easily dismissed on credibility, legitimacy, and salience grounds. While scenario thinking is a good fit with climate change adaptation, it clashes with the predictive paradigm underlying the evidence-based decision-making model. This suggests that, for adaptation to better fit the institutional environment, alterations to the latter are needed.
... The scenario method consists in developing ''a set of hypothetical events set in the future constructed to clarify a possible chain of causal events as well as their decision points'' (Kahn and Wiener 1967). In particular, scenario planning allows to forecast future dynamics by presenting the crucial elements of a given problem in a systematic and coherent way (Burt and Heijden 2003;Amer et al. 2013). If appropriately applied, it is a powerful tool to approach complex problems characterized by a high degree of uncertainty in a more rational and effective way (Kahn 1962). ...
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Globalization and migratory fluxes are increasing the ethnic and racial diversity within many countries. Therefore, describing social dynamics requires models that are apt to capture multi-groups interactions. Building on the assumption of a relationship between multi-racial dynamics and socioeconomic status (SES), we introduce an aggregate, contextual, and continuous index of SES accounting for measures of income, employment, expected life, and group numerosity. After, taking into account that groups’ SES assumes the form of a logit model, we propose a Lotka–Volterra system to study and forecast the interaction among racial groups. Last, we apply our methodology to describe the racial dynamics in the US society. In particular, we study the kind and the intensity of Asians–Blacks–Natives–Whites interactions in the US between 2002 and 2013. Moreover, we forecast the evolution of groups’ SES and how interracial relations will unfold between 2013 and 2018 and in three alternative stylized scenarios. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11135-017-0581-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... The SB-PSS is designed based on the Planning Support System (PSS) and scenario planning concepts to assess overall urban resilience capacity for planning and design scenarios. Scenario planning considers multiple possible future alternatives in making a plan in a holistic manner and significantly enhances the ability to deal with uncertainties (Burt and van der Heijden 2003;Varum and Melo 2010). A PSS is generally regarded as a system in which technologies are dedicated to the planning profession. ...
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Urban resilience assessment can help planners understand the status of resilience in an urban system and identify needs for improving resilience capacities. The issues related to urban resilience are complex because of multiple urban system components, threats from different sources, and uncertainty of the future. Urban resilience theories have progressed to consider an urban system as an integrated complex system; however, urban resilience assessments are inconsistent and underdeveloped in assessing an integrated urban system for different threats at various uncertainties. In an effort to address this deficiency, we propose to develop an Integrative Urban Resilience Capacity Index (IURCI) for assessing urban resilience capacity for all threats. To improve the quality of urban resilience assessment, the IURCI considers urban physical form, spatial structure, preparation for future, and performance after plan implementation to measure resilience capacities of absorption, mitigation, and adaptation. It is built in a Scenario-Based Planning Support System (SB-PSS). The SB-PSS is a framework and an open system that integrates IURCI with scenario generation, modeling, and assessment to inform the public, planners, and other stakeholders about the consequences of different planning policies and to assist them make decisions for implementing a preferred scenario.
... One of the most common reasons for using scenarios in a firm's strategic planning process is to examine the potential impact of key uncertainties within an operating environment against a firm's strategic options (Burt and Van der Heijden, 2003;Matthyssens et al., 2006;Lindgren and Bandhol, 2003;Ramirez et al., 2013). The application of scenario planning can also improve decision-making processes, challenge conventional thinking by reframing existing perceptions, and improve managerial understanding of the cause-and-effect sequences of how events might unfold in the future (Wright et al., 2013;Derbyshire and Wright, 2017). ...
Article
This paper creates a theoretical construct through the synthetization of industry recipes in the Hollywood film industry and scenario planning's intuitive logics approach. It illustrates how the incumbent-challenger paradox coupled with the industry recipes framework can provide a robust scenario narrative. Through a multiple case study approach, an industry recipe is constructed, the industry recipe factors are identified. Then the intuitive logics approach is blended with the industry recipe factors through the creation of scenario recipe factors and represented in a theoretical framework. The underlying premise of the paper purports that exploration of the industry recipes framework can help advance the intuitive logics approach through narrative development.
... Scenario analysis develops a set of structurally different situations to embrace the major uncertainties in the future business environment [8,9]. Harries [10] notes that one of the major tenets of scenario planning is that it is a useful basis for testing the robustness of plans of action, as organizations need to know when to act and, as importantly, when not to act [11]. ...
Article
The technology transformation of the power industry is crucial for electricity companies, which need to be prepared for the transition of their traditional business. Using scenario-planning exercises, combined with SWOT and PESTEL analysis, as well as a systems thinking approach, this paper explores potential strategies for electricity companies to grasp the opportunities and offset threats, by focusing on the formulation process for a broad, innovative strategy for the transition in the power business. The paper concludes that the transformation of the Colombian energy industry poses serious challenges to electricity companies when policy and regulation promote the adoption of non-conventional energy sources, at a time when the cost of renewables keep declining; however, with a robust adaptive strategy, companies could better face the transition from current business to new alternatives.
... Referring to scenario planning, the baseline scenario (business as usual) describes a type of development that captures the historical trend and without any additional change in current policy (Varum and Melo, 2010). Considering multiple possible alternative scenarios allows planning in a holistic manner and enhances the ability to deal with uncertainties during the decision-making process (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Hiltunen, 2009;Varum and Melo, 2010). Alternative scenarios reflect different development strategies, policies, and preferences for using GI and GrayI in stormwater management. ...
Article
Using combined sewer systems to handle excess stormwater runoff is common in older urban areas. Combined sewer overflow (CSO) events occur when hydraulic capacity is exceeded, and untreated wastewater discharges to surface waters. As urban population density increases, and more demand is placed on infrastructure, CSO events happen more often and cause serious environmental problems and public-health risks. Recently, green infrastructure (GI) has been integrated with existing gray infrastructure (GrayI) to reduce CSO events. However, there lacks a goal-oriented planning framework for eliminating CSOs at a watershed/sewershed scale. Moreover, existing stormwater simulations based on catchments or other geographic units, do not consider spatial variation within the unit, such as distribution, attribution, ownership, and management of GI. We propose a scenario-based Stormwater Management Planning Support System for CSOs (SMPSS-CSO) to provide a platform for reducing CSO events by coordinating parcel-based installations of GI. We applied the SMPSS-CSO to a sewershed with a single CSO location in Cincinnati, Ohio and developed four scenarios representing increased use of GI (rain barrels, green roofs, porous pavements, and detention basin) based on its cost, difficulty of installation, and property ownership. Runoff quantity, time of concentration, and peak flow rate were simulated using the curve number method. Our analysis shows a 41% reduction in stormwater runoff is necessary to eliminate CSO events for a two-year rainfall, required 97.25% of private and 27.59% of public parcels to install GI. GI alone cannot eliminate CSO events in this sewershed and must be incorporated with additional GrayI (e.g., storage tanks, pipes). The SMPSS-CSO has the potential for including multiple stakeholders' preferences and concerns in the searching for preferable scenarios.
... (G. Burt et K. Van der Heijden, 2003 ;J. Derbyshire, 2017 ;C.F. ...
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... In the case of blockchain applications in a far-future CE, both the uncertainty in predicting the paths of technological development is high (e.g., Queiroz and Wamba, 2019), and social and environmental changes impacting technology adoption and business models can occur at any speed -as we have witnessed recently in the global COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., Ritter and Pedersen, 2020). Thus, a methodological approach for developing far-future technology scenarios (FTS) needs to be designed in a way that the scenarios are based on all three knowledge forms, and for stimulating the development of multiple scenarios from a variety of perspectives (Huss, 1988;Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Schoemaker, 1993;Wright et al., 2013;Maier et al., 2016). Keough and Shanahan (2008;171) found in their review that scenario development normally happens in a process in which phases of understanding and defining the issue(s) at hand are followed by those of gathering information about stakeholders, constraints, trends, etc. ...
Article
Despite the scholarly consent that blockchain technology can play a central role for implementing circular economies (CEs) to arrive at cleaner consumption and production, the blockchain adoption rate by companies for this purpose is low. While this might be partly caused by technology maturity problems, scholars also recognize a lack of vision about blockchain technology applications that might assist companies in implementing CE business models. Particularly, we miss knowledge about consumerdesired future CE scenarios to help the understanding of the likelihood of consumer adoption. In this paper, we therefore ask: What are, from the perspective of future consumers, desirable far-future CEs that use blockchain technology? We present the findings of a study that analyzed 57 consumer-desired CE scenarios in 2041 in which blockchain is used. From the analysis, we identify four ideal types of consumer-desired CEs, and the blockchain use cases in them. Based on that, we discuss and conclude on value propositions for CE business models that companies can use to attract consumer participation and blockchain adoption in pro-circular shifts. Second, we aimed at gathering consumer visions that can guide the strategic investment of companies in the development of blockchain technology applications for efficient CE business models.
... One common scenario is the baseline scenario (business as usual) that describes the current conditions and historical trends representing status quo (e.g., no change in policy; Varum and Melo, 2010). Considering multiple alternative scenarios allows planning in a holistic manner and enhances the ability to deal with uncertainties during the decision-making process (Burt and van der Heijden, 2003;Varum and Melo, 2010). In this study, alternative scenarios reflect different policies, development strategies, and stakeholder preferences regarding GI in stormwater management. ...
Article
Green infrastructure (GI) has been recommended widely to reduce runoff from the built environment. However, reliance on public land for GI implementation could cause a heavy financial burden on local governments. Although economic incentives and market-based mechanisms may encourage public participation in managing stormwater by installing GI on private parcels, a runoff trading market has not been fully developed in practice. To establish a market, in part, requires a watershed-based planning framework and fully informed parcel owners in regard to tradable credits, costs, and benefits. We propose a scenario-based Stormwater Management Planning Support System for Trading Runoff Abatement Credits (SMPSS-TRAC) to facilitate the calculation and allocation of stormwater runoff abatement credits in order to assist the decision-making of GI investment. We apply SMPSS-TRAC to a watershed located in Hamilton County, Ohio, USA and develop five scenarios representing increasing use of GI. We test the scenarios under a 5-year rainfall intensity and set a cap of runoff for each scenario at a level that is equal to the runoff from an undeveloped status (1.03-inch runoff depth for the watershed). With the proposed SMPSS-TRAC, the watershed authority could encourage all parcel owners to install suitable GI or purchase credits from the market. When detention basins are needed to meet a stated goal, the watershed authority would build them on vacant lots and share costs with all parcels within the same sub-catchment. The last scenario with four types of GI installed, shows that the watershed reaches market equilibrium and generates 15,358 m3 credit surplus. SMPSS-TRAC has the potential for including multiple stakeholders’ preferences and concerns in searching for preferable scenarios.
... From the methodological perspective, e.g. Börjeson et al. (2006) and Burt and van der Heijden (2003) state that futures studies are mainly based on a qualitative approach with a focus on complex or novel topics lacking explicit data, whereas in the forest sector, the quantitative scenario studies have been more predominant (see e.g. Sjølie et al., 2016). ...
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The forest sector can play a major role in the transformation to a sustainable bioeconomy, driven by climate change, population growth, and accelerated urbanization. However, in most contexts, the industrial wood construction markets, as a promising field for sustainable bioeconomy, are still at a niche level. The analysis in this study concerns the preferred future export markets for industrial wood construction for the Finnish wood construction industry, as viewed by a panel of industrial, policy and academic experts. The aim is to identify promising export markets for Finland, and to identify required pathways by 2030. A qualitative participatory backcasting method was applied to explore the future visions of the industrial wood construction (IWC) sector and its export markets, as well as the pathways from the current towards the envisioned future. Thirty-five experts formed a panel which produced five visions of the development of industrial wood construction sector exports from Finland, covering the period 2020–2030. All the visions foresaw that the domestic market needs to develop first, to build up the competencies needed to fuel the growth in the exports. Asia, particularly China with its rapidly growing markets, and Europe, with its growing sustainability awareness, commonly appeared as the most promising areas for export growth. The resulting visions differed in terms of export portfolios, varying from more traditional wood materials and products to product-service-solutions. The policy measures identified to accelerate the envisioned growth included harmonization of product and building standards and regulations in the Nordic region and beyond, developing the educational base, and using of digital solutions in building new networks and communication in the IWC sector.
... We also note that there is consensus in the literature that improved assessments occur when this is augmented with a scenario-planning process [44,46,[48][49][50] to better understand relative impact(s). It has been demonstrated that multiple distinct scenarios, augmented by minor counterfactuals should be used to explore the strategic space [50]. ...
Chapter
Contemporary risk management methodologies are typically used for identification and prioritisation of strategic risks. The International Risk Management standard, ISO 31000:2009, is the world-wide basis for best practice in strategic level risk processes. However, due to the qualitative and subjective nature of strategic risk, its analysis requires a more nuanced approach than that used in more tactical or operational settings and this paper discusses the need to understand the range and nature of strategic threats, and how to represent risk assessments. As such, a particular focus of this work is on how to incorporate best practices in strategic risk analysis, and operations research into the design and application of strategic risk management in the Defence context. A number of steps are recommended incorporating international risk management best practices within the context and uncertainties unique to strategic risk management for Defence (as opposed to tactical or engineering risk management).
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A new Futures Conversations Framework (FCF) is proposed in this paper, one that draws on Integral Futures to integrate four types of conversations about futures – Self, Culture, Change and Futures – that each hold assumptions about how futures are understood and articulated in the present. The FCF is a design frame that seeks to ensure that any useful conversation about possible futures takes place in a space that surfaces and challenges these assumptions with the aim of expanding organisational discourses about futures and how those futures are used in the present. This paper is conceptual in nature and focuses on organisational futures and explores the nature and emphasis of each conversation before suggesting how an integrated framework can be used in practice to inform the design of foresight and futures processes to ensure as many assumptions about futures as is possible are identified in the present.
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This dissertation explored the perceived association between scenario planning and the development of leadership capability and capacity. Furthermore, this study explored sophisticated virtual environments seeking instances of adult learning and the conduciveness of these environments for innovative developmental activities to build leadership capability and capacity. Data sources included 1) fifty semi-structured interviews with five expert-practitioners purposively selected for their experience in both scenario planning and leadership development, 2) descriptive process and outcome data from scenario planning programs in university business schools, and 3) fifteen published scenario planning reports, 4) observations of the scenario planning process, and 5) a survey of forty-five individuals who participated in the study of sophisticated virtual environments. The first stream of inquiry that investigated the perceived association between scenario planning and the development of leadership capability and capacity revealed the development of a synthesis model integrated from three informing theoretical frameworks. The model was used for subsequent data collection, analysis, and organization. Each data source supported and further described the associative relationship between scenario planning and the development of leadership capability and capacity; leading to increased confidence in the synthesis model. This study is unique because it links scenario planning explicitly through empirical evidence with the development of leadership capability and capacity. Findings from the second stream of inquiry into sophisticated virtual environments included formal and informal learning in the 3D virtual world of Second Life™ (SL). Respondents in the study completed forty-five open-ended surveys and follow-up interviews that revealed six enablers of adult learning in SL: 1) a variety of educational topics for life-long learning; 2) opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration; 3) collaboration across geographical boundaries; 4) immersive environment creates social; 5) health and emotional benefits; and, 6) cost savings over face-to-face experiences. Four barriers included: glitches in technology reduced effectiveness, addictiveness of SL, learning curve for “newbies” and funding issues for small businesses and nonprofits. Also, sophisticated technologies are creating media-rich environments found to be integrative spaces conducive for developmental activities in the field of human resource development (HRD). Scenario planning and leadership development were found to be reasonable developmental activities suited to these digital spaces. Virtual human resource development (VHRD) was identified as a new area of inquiry for HRD.
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This conceptual paper responds to the call by Ahlqvist and Uotila (2020) for review of the philosophical assumptions that frame the theorization of the practice of strategic foresight. Challenging the ontological and epistemological assumptions that underpin the dominant (positivist) paradigm, their interpretivist perspective offers an alternative set of assumptions on which to frame the practice of strategic foresight. We contribute to this debate on the paradigmatic framing of research into the practice of strategic foresight, by offering a social constructionist perspective through which the politics that shape the increasingly complex contexts of this practice, may be discerned. Reflecting on the ontological complexity of the concept of context, we explore the role of forms of abstract power in the apprehension and sense-making of current and future contexts and suggest ways through their influence can be mitigated. These include the introduction of reflexive forums in which participants engage in critical dialogue focussed on generating contextual insight; the inclusion of participants drawn from beyond the institutional boundaries of the organization and from a diverse range of positions within the organization; and the conceptualization of leadership of the foresight process as a collective responsibility rather than that of management alone.
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Background: Numerous calls have urged researchers to adopt novel ways of thinking in order to address complex challenges within the engineering education system. The field lacks shared criteria and understanding to characterize ways of thinking, particularly in the context of engineering education research. Ways of thinking as a lens for considering and addressing complex challenges has the potential to bring about systemic change. Purpose: This work aims to initiate a vision for a ways of thinking framework specific to engineering education research contexts. The purpose is to highlight how ways of thinking can be embedded in research practice as a means to enact systemic change. Scope: Four specific ways of thinking – futures, values, systems, and strategic – are explored by reviewing literature from different fields and making connections to engineering education research. Each way of thinking is illustrated by application examples. A compilation of the underlying concepts, abilities, and enhancement approaches for each way of thinking is also presented. Discussion/Conclusions: Ways of thinking is perceived as a concept in theory, but can and should be used in practice to innovate. Using futures, values, systems, and strategic thinking in an integrated manner can build capacity for researchers to push toward systemic change.
Chapter
Kognitive Trägheit beschreibt die Unfähigkeit von Top- Managern, auf Veränderungen der Unternehmensumwelt durch eine entsprechende Anpassung und Aktualisierung ihrer strategischen Schemata zu reagieren (Hodgkinson 1997; Hodgkinson/Wright 2002; Reger/Palmer 1996). Empirische Forschungsergebnisse zeigen, dass kognitive Trägheit organisationales Handeln verzögern und zu geringerer organisationaler Leistung führen kann (Barr 1998; Barr/Huff 1997; Barr/Stimpert/Huff 1992; Sull 1999; Tripsas/Gavetti 2000). Diese Studien belegen zwar die Auswirkungen kognitiver Trägheit, bieten jedoch wenig Einblick in die Prozesse und Determinanten, die zu kognitiver Trägheit führen, d. h. warum und unter welchen Umständen Top Manager nicht in der Lage sind, ihre strategischen Schemata an die sich verändernde Umwelt anzupassen. Darüber hinaus offerieren sie kaum Empfehlungen, mit welchen Fähigkeiten und Methoden Top-Manager kognitiver Trägheit vorbeugen oder sie überwinden können.
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Assessing the future is vital in informing public policy decisions. One of the most widespread approaches is the development of scenarios, which are alternative hypothetical futures. Research has indicated, however, that the reality of how professionals go about employing scenarios is often starkly at odds with the theory - a finding that has important ramifications for how the resulting images of the future should be interpreted. It also shows the need for rewriting and updating theory. This book, based on an intensive five year study of how experts actually go about assessing the future, provides a groundbreaking examination of foresighting in action. Obtained via ethnographic techniques, the results lay bare for the first time the real processes by which scenarios are made. It is also the first book to examine foresighting for public policy, which is so often overlooked in favour of business practice. From handling of discontinuity to historical determinism, the analysis reveals and explains why foresight is difficult and what the major pitfalls are. Each chapter ends with a toolkit of recommendations for practice. The book aims to help readers to reflect on their own practices of public-oriented foresight and thus to foster a deeper understanding of the key principles and challenges. Ultimately, this will lead to better informed decision making.
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This paper studies the relationships between the intensity of price competition, time horizon and environmental performance. We hypothesize that more intense price competition discourages environmental performance by inducing short-termism in companies. We test the hypotheses on a sample of 3152 companies from twelve European countries. Using structural equation modelling, test results show that price competition significantly shortens the time horizon that companies apply in strategic decisions and that (long) time horizon significantly increases their environmental performance. However, the net negative effect of the intensity of price competition on environmental performance is small in absolute terms. The policy implication is that there is no serious dilemma between fostering environmental performance on one hand and increasing consumer surplus by encouraging price competition on the other hand.
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There is a rich academic literature about scenario planning expressing concerns with improving the effectiveness of scenario analysis as a process and with scenario methods being misused. Controlling for process execution and reacting to unforeseen events to avoid downside risks is the domain of operational control. Mechanisms for operational control are normally deployed ex ante, in-process, and ex post. A review of the scenario analysis literature from an operational control perspective leads to the conclusion that ex ante control mechanisms are extensively discussed. In-process control mechanisms are also discussed extensively but only by some authors. Ex post controls are almost never discussed. This suggests that when a scenario analysis goes wrong it cannot be reworked or recovered. This is a surprising implicit proposition and this article uses a case study approach to challenge this omission and to conclude that, like for many other business processes, rework and recovery of scenario analysis can be a legitimate and valuable activity.
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Scenario planning, as a recognised organisational intervention, has steadily grown in popularity since the mid-20th century. To date, there are arguably as many methods and techniques as there are practitioners, with applications across nearly all sectors of public and private industry. Many feel that scenario planning is forever consigned to the realm of chaos, incapable of being clearly defined. We disagree and see the field as a collective of experiences and knowledge that play upon a theme, where emerging realities slowly reveal a structure to the system. In response, we propose a comprehensive typology for scenario planning interventions – the Comprehensive Scenario Intervention typology – which incorporates all dimensions of existing typologies along with additional dimensions and functions that reflect previously unrecognized and emergent topics relevant to understanding the critical realities of an intervention. The Comprehensive Scenario Intervention typology expands the scope of scenario planning interventions and adds to the theoretical foundation of the field.
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Strategic foresight is a scientific field in rapid development judged from the increase in number of yearly publications the last decade. What characterizes the research in this field? To answer this question we undertook a systematic literature review searching two library databases, Business Source Complete and ScienceDirect, for scientific articles related to the topic ´strategic foresight´ in the context of the organization. The search revealed 59 publications published between January 2000 and October 2014. The articles were systematically organized and analyzed. This review provides the status of this emergent research field. Although we witness a growth of academic interest in strategic foresight, we argue that this scientific field is weakly organized and there is a lack of theoretical progress. We have analyzed the research subjects addressed in the 59 articles, and from this a taxonomy of eight categories. Three categories dominate in terms of frequency of articles: methods applied, organizing practices, and experiences gained. There is only limited research on motivation and use, value contribution, and innovation. Explorative research dominates, and a variety of theoretical perspectives has been used. Some attempts to build conceptual foundations can be observed, but in general, we found no single perspective that deserves loyalty on which a coherent theoretical foundation of strategic foresight is built. Strategic foresight has a great potential of contributing more to the success of a firm if the research moves from today's dominating explorative research to also include more explanatory research.
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This conceptual article highlights the separate shortcomings of stakeholder engagement broadly, deliberative engagement specifically, and scenario planning in their separate application to address future problems, especially those termed as ‘wicked’ problems. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we combine the most relevant and useful aspects of these concepts and outline how, when taken together, they can be used by public relations (PR) practitioners to open ‘political talk’ in order to address wicked societal problems. In doing so, this article follows Turk’s (1986) call to look to future methodologies as way of expanding PR practice beyond the technical, functional skills that have typically defined the field. It also takes up Willis’ (2016) call for PR to take a wider role in helping governments and society tackle wicked problems.
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This article discusses some of the issues regarding the first employees to work in a space hotel. As space hotels initially will be vastly different to existing hotels on Earth, it is important to question what human resource challenges this will raise for hospitality workers and providers. To assist reflection on this issue, the notions of space tourism and space tourist are explored, and a definition of a space hotel is included to create product and service boundaries. Plausible futures methodology is used to create five main human resource considerations and concludes by suggesting this sector is largely unexplored.
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Scenario planning is used by organizations and institutions to help understand futures, expand imaginations and to sensitize for changing business environments. The scenario planning process can help deal with uncertainties in an increasingly dynamic environment, particularly if they are perceived as plausible. To explore the practicalities of developing plausible scenarios we utilised a case study, and involved key stakeholders, to investigate the ‘Future of Work’ in Dunedin, Aotearoa, New Zealand. Using sensemaking analysis we show how participants utilized their individual frames of reference to interpret how plausible the scenarios were, while also constructing cues to prospectively ‘make sense’. Therefore, we contribute both to understanding how to build plausibility into scenario planning and how participants make sense of future scenarios. We propose a model, based on the sensemaking concepts of frames and cues, that supports the construction of plausible scenarios. We conclude that designing plausible scenarios, as a prospective sensemaking device, is a powerful way to encourage discussion about futures and to understand the consequences of today's activities on tomorrow's realities. Understanding how to design scenarios that are perceived as plausible from a stakeholder's perspective is crucial for building understandings of future events.
Conference Paper
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It is obvious that experts of KM field must understand technological disruptions. In the current market conditions, the corporate and technology foresight are the key elements of business landscape analysis.
Preprint
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The primary purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between scenario planning and strategic performance. The data was collected from 121 Multinational corporations operating in Jordan by using a questionnaire. Pearson correlation and the partial least squares (PLS) methodology for factor analysis and path modelling was used to test the study hypotheses. The study found a positive and statistically significant relationships between scenario planning and the four components of strategic performance: financial performance, customer performance, learning and growth, and internal business processes. Based on these findings, the study recommends that managers should apply scenario planning practices to enhance the levels of strategic performance in their companies. Additionally, managers should raise the awareness of their employees regarding the importance of both scenario planning and strategic performance. Moreover, managers should provide their employees with adequate training courses in relation to acquire the knowledge and build their skills in the field of scenario planning. Finally, managers should use the diagnostic instruments that developed by previous research to assess a company’s strategic performance and scenario planning practices, identify managerial practices that need to be implemented or improved, and determine the resources that might realistically be required to build a better scenario planning process and promote strategic performance. Much more research and studies need to be performed in this budding subject. Links among scenario planning and another organizational topics and outcomes need to be searched.
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La literatura sobre la industria de los eventos deja múltiples perspectivas y enfoques, pero en general, ha instaurado que el estudio de estas celebraciones se centra en la organización y gestión de actos planificados, como momentos únicos en el tiempo que dejan un fuerte impacto socioeconómico. Los mega acontecimientos mediáticos retratan sociedades en el momento en que coinciden su práctica real y sus ideales explícitos (Dayan y Katz, 1995, p. 161). Otero (2005, p. 142) se aleja del concepto de acontecimiento especial como conductor de repercusión mediática. Estos acontecimientos tienen valor por sí mismos sin ser necesarios transmitirlos a través de los medios de comunicación al público en general. La perspectiva de un acto se inspira en términos como ceremoniales, tradiciones, costumbres, simbolismos específicos y que corresponde a la necesidad humana de vivir experiencias con un impacto sociocultural, económico y psicológico. Por lo tanto, los special events son organizados "para que las personas se reúnan para celebrar, adorar, conmemorar, comunicar, disfrutar, recordar, socializar…" (Douglas et al., 2001), para "honrar, discutir, enseñar, alentar, escuchar, observar o influir en los esfuerzos humanos" (Matthews, 2008), como celebraciones con rituales, ceremoniales y protocolos, siendo una expresión sociocultural asociada a las costumbres y tradiciones de una sociedad.
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Shell developed a number of new methodologies to make scenario planning more meaningful to line managers. It also took steps to integrate the learning that takes place at the SBU level into the Group Planning System.
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This article looks at 16 recent studies of global futures and examines their conclusions within a sociopolitical framework.† Three idealised worldviews—conservative, reformist, radical—are constructed from this framework; they are then married with a classification based upon the two parameters of high growth-low growth and equality-inequality. This allows for the concise mapping of existing scenarios and, by the elucidation of the major differences in sociopolitical forecasts, provides a simple but effective technique for comparative analysis. Two quality-of-life issues, the future of work, and of political development and change, are used as concrete examples of how the method can be used to create a series of scenarios which cover the whole socio-political spectrum of alternative futures.
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The authors describe a case study of scenario-based decision-making to develop a research and development strategy for oil and gas exploration and production. They develop decision-focused scenarios having established the ‘decision-focus’ and assessed the dynamics of the external environment. Having identified the strategy alternatives and interpreted the scenarios for R & D implications, a flexible strategy is developed and the process is reviewed.
Article
Long-term forecasting is not a very successful enterprise. Some of the most important events of the last 2 years, particularly the political upheavals in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, caught most observers off guard—even knowledgeable ones. In the oil industry, experts have sometimes been able to suggest, but rarely to predict, the key turning points in crude oil prices. Time after time, events that are considered improbable or even implausible occur.The future is too important to be ignored, notwithstanding this difficulty. The Shell approach to strategic planning is, instead of forecasts, to use scenarios, a set of ‘stories’ about alternative possible futures. These stories promote a discussion of possibilities other than the ‘most likely’ one and encourage the consideration of ‘what if’ questions. Although scenarios deal with the future, they are essentially a way of structuring the overwhelming, confusing information we have about the present. One of the important uses for this structure is to help us recognize more of what is going on around us, including the early, weak signals of change.Good scenarios are challenging, plausible and internally consistent. They also illuminate the uncertainties and issues that are critical for the future (in the case of this paper, for the future of the energy industry to the year 2010). Scenarios lead to better decisions if they improve our understanding of the world.This paper outlines two scenarios prepared in the Group Planning Coordination of Shell International Petroleum Company. Two notes are important. First, the author has summarized a much larger body of work to which approximately twenty members of Group Planning contributed, under the leadership of Kees van der Heijden. Second, this work was completed in the summer of 1989 and so, naturally, were we to re-formulate the scenarios now, our assessments in many areas would be very different. The value of this paper is therefore less in the content of the scenarios than in the particular approach to thinking about the future.
Article
This article deals with the strategic problems, priorities and prospects facing South Africa over the next 5–10 years. The article is based on the findings of a scenario team of which the author was a member.
Article
In this article alternative scenarios for Central Europe, ie Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland, are discussed within a national and an international context. It is shown how the various dimensions of change in Central Europe are closely interlinked. The solution of the major quests the region face, ie the quest for economic viability, the quest for social and political cohesion and the quest for a stable and secure international environment, occur in conjunction. It is argued that the completion of the various tasks exhibit different timescales which in itself may provoke additional problems. Moreover, potential synergies may easily turn into self-destructive dynamics. Based on a comprehensive assessment of the problems the region faces now and most probably in the 15–20 years to come, five scenarios are constructed which highlight the driving forces the region may face. Distinguished are the laissezfaire/capitalist scenarios, the populist-authoritarian scenario, the leaning-upon-the-West scenario, the sustainable development scenario and the muddling-on scenario.
Article
Planning is a complex reasoning task that is well suited for the study of improving performance andknowledge by learning, i.e. by accumulation and interpretation of planning experience. PRODIGY is anarchitecture that integrates planning with multiple learning mechanisms. Learning occurs at the planner'sdecision points and integration in PRODIGY is achieved via mutually interpretable knowledge structures.This article describes the PRODIGY planner, briefly reports on several learning modules...
Article
Imagine that someone working for your company in the year 2010 sent you a postcard that arrived in 1994. Instead of technology news or stock tips, the message described changes in state or federal governments. How can you use the information to prepare your business? Managers should take the following four scenarios of governments of the future very seriously. One reason is that authorities are betting that all of these scenarios will come true — in at least some of the fifty states. Another reason is that the state governments can exert a powerful impact on corporate prospects.
Article
Scenarios that offer peeks at the future are intriguing, but critics complain that often they aren't much help in sorting out current decisions. The authors offer an alternative process that starts with a rough sketch of the main elements of several likely macroeconomic futures and then involves managers in the development of scenarios that focus on decision making. The intent is to clarify the options for operating decisions. In this case, a Latin American oil producer decides whether to buy a small and somewhat inefficient U. S. refinery.
Article
The term “scenario” is familiar to those involved in forecasting, but too few people are aware of what exactly a scenario is, or how it can best be developed and applied. The author describes a method developed over several years in response to a need which most forecasting efforts have left unfulfilled. The method enables quantitative and qualitative forecasts to be combined in a manner which can be directly related to an organisation's planning and decision-making processes, and which permits the evaluation of a company's objectives and performance in the light of those forecasts. The analysis of an organisation's likely performance in given scenarios can, in turn, provide a basis for contingency planning.
Article
Scenario analysis is an increasingly popular way to look at the future business environment. This paper provides a critical assessment of the literature on scenario analysis. It summarizes what is currently known about this approach to forecasting, and offers some guidelines regarding the construction and use of scenarios. It also offers a comparison and evaluation of many of the techniques that have been proffered to generate scenarios, suggesting which are worth while and which are not.
Book
The history of the Newton Chambers and Ransome Engineering Companies and on how they changed 'industry recipes' as they adapted to changing circumstances.
Book
This book presents a disciplined, qualitative exploration of case study methods by drawing from naturalistic, holistic, ethnographic, phenomenological and biographic research methods. Robert E. Stake uses and annotates an actual case study to answer such questions as: How is the case selected? How do you select the case which will maximize what can be learned? How can what is learned from one case be applied to another? How can what is learned from a case be interpreted? In addition, the book covers: the differences between quantitative and qualitative approaches; data-gathering including document review; coding, sorting and pattern analysis; the roles of the researcher; triangulation; and reporting.
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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This case study of scenario planning at Digital shows how top management uses the process for testing, probing, pushing, and provoking strategic thinking about the future. Middle managers find the scenarios helpful for modeling their current businesses.
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Looks at Shell's organization and at mechanistic and networking cultures. Discusses individual and organizational learning and gives pointers to the best methods, as practised by Shell's planning specialists. Concludes that if a company is not a learning organization then it may find it difficult to become one. Its first priority needs to be to develop the quality of its organizational conversation.
Article
In this paper, we examine the impact of information and communications technologies (ICT) on government departments/agencies and the contribution of external agents to change and development programs. We present empirical evidence of externally facilitated change to mindsets and patterns of behavior within local government through use of a scenario planning-based approach. Our aim was to facilitate the organizational actors' conduct of investigation of the ‘limits of the possible’ for a range of plausible futures and determination of strategic responses to these. Participants used their own current knowledge and understanding as a basis for development, with the introduction of external ‘expertise’ to challenge their thinking and to expand their understanding. Following this, we facilitated the participants' elucidation of key uncertainties on the future, exploration of the relationships between them and possible outcomes. The participants then constructed scenarios that outlined four possible and plausible futures. These held explicit meaning for the participants, enabled them to identify implications of each possible future in relation to structure and service requirements and informed analysis of current structure, service, etc. We compare and contrast the process and outcomes of our scenario-planning intervention (based on intuitive logics) with both those of other futures methodologies (decision analysis, Delphi and environmental scanning) and with other scenario methodologies (trend-impact analysis and cross-impact analysis). We argue that the external facilitation of internal generation of knowledge, understanding and meaning, and of exploration of the limits of the possible for the future, is a valuable tool for comprehending strategic choices. We conclude that our scenario approach, utilizing intuitive logics, enables organizational actors to make sense of the complexities and ambiguities that they face and so facilitates strategic change.
Article
This article looks at the future of futures studies (FS) over the next 20 years from a practitioner’s viewpoint. It begins with favorable developments for FS in the organizational context. The main body covers how FS can take advantage of these more favorable developments. It then anticipates some key methodological and professional challenges and how FS might meet them. It concludes with a few comments about the prospects for a self-actualized FS.The single biggest challenge for FS over the next generation from my practitioner’s point-of-view is to get beyond the cyclicality of interest in the future and get FS firmly integrated into the organizational context. Our experience to date convinces me that we have earned “the right to practice,” and we must now focus the next few decades on sinking roots “inside”. The good news is that there are several developments suggesting that this is not just a preferable but also a probable future.
Article
Criticisms of futures studies ought to be evaluated in comparison with those of other fields. For example, compared to the established disciplines, futures studies is less fragmented and has many positive features. Also, controversies among futurists do not mean that futures studies is not a field. Rather, one hallmark of any field of inquiry is that its members constitute a disputatious community. Moreover, futures studies is unified by interlinked and overlapping networks of communications and influences among futurists, a shared transdisciplinary matrix, and the growth of a futurist canon. The future of futures studies is bright, because it is reasonable to hope that futurists will be able to establish the field in most of the world’s colleges and universities.
Article
321 pages, figures, bibliographie Scenarios deals with how managers can set out and negotiate a successful course into the future for the organization in the face of significant uncertainty. Uncertainties about the future are often felt to be uncomfortable and th us "swept under the table" by collapsing them into a single line forecast. This is tantamount to abdication of managerial responsibility. At worst it means a wild jump in the dark. Facing up to uncertainty changes the perspective on the future completely. The secret of success moves from "finding the best strategy" to "finding the best process". Thinking about scenarios - the different plausible future environments that can be imagined - is the key to thinking the process through and to keep thinking about it as the plans for the future unfold. Scenario planning is dynamic. The focus of attention needs to be on the ongoing "strategie conversation", penetrating both the formai and informai exchange of views through whieh the strategie understanding develops - and actions result. Scenarios deals first with the principles of organizational learning and then moves on to describe practieal and down·to·earth ways in whieh the organization can develop its skill in conducting an ongoing scenario·based strategy process. The methods described are based on many years of practical experience of managers in both large and small organizations; and they are grounded in solid logic.
Article
Sumario: Entrepreneurs are risk takers and innovators but are not always strong supporters of strategic planning, especially in smaller businesses. However, small business entrepreneurs, like everyone else, have to face up to the uncertainty inherent in the future. One key element of strategic planning is to devise ways to handle that uncertainty and a useful technique for this is scenario building. It is often assumed that scenario building is an approach which only large, wealthy organizations can use because of the time, cost and expertise involved. This article describes a simplified approach to scenario building which can be employed with benefit by even the smallest firms
Article
Sumario: Starting management research -- Philosophy and politics -- Doing and completing the research
Article
The classical tripartite concept of time divided into past/present/future components, has been applied to the analysis of the functional cerebral substrate of conscious awareness. Attempts have been made to localize and to separate the neuronal machineries which are responsible for the experience of a past, a present, and a future. One's experience of a past is obviously related to one's memories. Memory mechanisms (in the conventional sense) have a well known functional relation to superficial and deep parts of the temporal lobe. Some such mechanisms presumably have a more widespread distribution. The experience of a present or a "Now-situation" is mediated by the sensory input. This input also exerts a role for conscious awareness of an inner Now-situation, independent of current afferent impulses, as shown by numerous observations on sensory deprivation. The main discussion is devoted to the experience of a future. Evidence is summarized that the frontal/prefrontal cortex handles the temporal organization of behaviour and cognition, and that the same structures house the action programs or plans for future behaviour and cognition. As these programs can be retained and recalled, they might be termed "memories of the future". It is suggested that they form the basis for anticipation and expectation as well as for the short and long-term planning of a goal-directed behavioural and cognitive repertoire. This repertoire for future use is based upon experiences of past events and the awareness of a Now-situation, and it is continuously rehearsed and optimized. Lesions or dysfunctions of the frontal/prefrontal cortex give rise to states characterized by a "loss of future", with consequent indifference, inactivity, lack of ambition, and inability to foresee the consequences of one's future behaviour. It is concluded that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for the temporal organization of behaviour and cognition due to its seemingly specific capacity to handle serial information and to extract causal relations from such information. Possibly the serial action programs which are stored in the prefrontal cortex are also used by the brain as templates for extracting meaningful (serial) information from the enormous, mainly non-serial, random, sensory noise to which the brain is constantly exposed. Without a "memory of the future" such an extraction cannot take place.
Article
In today's fast-changing competitive environment, strategy is no longer a matter of positioning a fixed set of activities along that old industrial model, the value chain. Successful companies increasingly do not just add value, they reinvent it. The key strategic task is to reconfigure roles and relationships among a constellation of actors--suppliers, partners, customers--in order to mobilize the creation of value by new combinations of players. What is so different about this new logic of value? It breaks down the distinction between products and services and combines them into activity-based "offerings" from which customers can create value for themselves. But as potential offerings grow more complex, so do the relationships necessary to create them. As a result, a company's strategic task becomes the ongoing reconfiguration and integration of its competencies and customers. The authors provide three illustrations of these new rules of strategy. IKEA has blossomed into the world's largest retailer of home furnishings by redefining the relationships and organizational practices of the furniture business. Danish pharmacies and their national association have used the opportunity of health care reform to reconfigure their relationships with customers, doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers, and with Danish and international health organizations to enlarge their role, competencies, and profits. French public-service concessionaires have mastered the art of conducting a creative dialogue between their customers--local governments in France and around the world--and a perpetually expanding set of infrastructure competencies.
The fifth discipline, Century Business
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Towards a theory of volitional strategic change: the role of transitional objects in constancy and change
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