Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight

Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight

Elgar original reference

Edited by Laura Anna Costanzo and Robert Bradley MacKay

Drawing together a collection of 29 original chapters, the Handbook makes an invaluable contribution to theory and practice by stimulating disciplined, rigorous and imaginative enquiry into the relationship between strategy and foresight. Leading scholars in the field of strategic management are brought together to offer innovative and multi-disciplinary perspectives on the past, present and future of strategy formation and foresight. In so doing, they challenge research in four key areas: strategy and foresight processes; strategy innovation for the future; understanding the future; and strategically responding to the future.

Chapter 6: Modal Narratives, Possible Worlds and Strategic Foresight

Charles Booth, Peter Clark, Agnès Delahaye-Dado, Michael Rowlinson and Stephen Procter

Subjects: business and management, strategic management


* Charles Booth, Peter Clark, Agnès Delahaye-Dado, Stephen Procter and Michael Rowlinson There is at all times enough past for all the different futures in sight, and more besides, to find their reasons in it, and whichever future comes will slide out of that past as easily as the train slides by the switch. (William James, The Meaning of Truth, 1909) Introduction In this chapter we advance suggestions for a philosophical system to underpin strategic foresight. In an editorial for a forthcoming special issue of the journal Futures, Mermet et al. (2009) argue that, because of the indeterminate and uncertain nature of the object and subject of the futures studies field, futurists have consistently demonstrated a concern for methodology, in part to defend the field against external criticism of its legitimacy and of its practices. The existence of the field as one concerned with practical application (and with the conjoining of efforts of academics and practitioners) has also arguably tended to result in an overemphasis on methodological codification and with it a proliferation of approaches (Bradfield et al., 2005), at a cost of sacrificing theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of sufficient depth. This chapter therefore seeks to address Mermet’s and his colleagues’ call for such underpinnings. The chapter is thus not concerned primarily with the practices and methods of strategic foresight, but with the delineation of a potentially useful, supportive and transformational conceptual approach, drawn from outside the futures studies domain. Most strategy textbooks (for...

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