Foresight in Strategic Management

Joanicjusz Nazarko (Bialystok University of Technology, Faculty of Management, Bialystok, Poland)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 17 October 2010



Nazarko, J. (2010), "Foresight in Strategic Management", Foresight, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 91-92.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The application of foresight has become of considerable relevance for strengthening the transition process in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in narrowing their competitive gap in the global economy (Stanovik and Kos, 2005). First foresight activities at the national level in the CEE region were carried out by Hungary (Havas, 2003). Recently foresight has begun to spread to other new EU members such as Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland.

The first steps to promote the idea of foresight in Poland were taken by the Ministry of Science and Informatisation in the years 2003‐2005 when the Pilot Foresight Project in the filed of health and life was carried out. Up to date, the National Foresight Programme “Poland 2020” and more than 30 regional and industry foresights have been launched.

In the light of growing interest in foresight exercises in Poland, on the Polish publishing market there has been issued the first book providing extensive overview of methodological intricacies related to foresight studies. The book is entitled Foresight in Strategic Management and is authored by Krzysztof Borodako (PhD).

The introductory pages of the book are devoted to the basic terms related to foresight genesis and essence. The author of the book extends the list of the existing foresight attributes and posits a new generation of foresight studies that he calls the fourth generation. According to the author, a new generation of foresight comprises a wide group of stakeholders being introduced to the process of virtual collection of knowledge assisted by the modern Information and Communications Technologies, i.e. the Internet discussion forums, e‐mail correspondence, knowledge sharing platforms, to name but a few. In this way, the author suggests a different understanding of the term from that introduced by Miles (2008) in the The Handbook of Technology Foresight: Concepts and Practice, Prime Series on Research and Innovation Policy according to whom the scope of the fourth generation is the whole system of science and innovation.

At heart of the publication is the chapter devoted to the preparation and running the whole foresight exercise – starting with preparatory phase and ending with the activities related to results' implementation. Although the pages seem not to differ from standard foresight guides to a large extent, their distinguishing feature is the visible correspondence to Polish economic and social reality, which is manifested by foresight usefulness to the updated Polish regional innovation strategies.

The empirical value of the book is additionally enhanced by the analysis of the methodological issues related to foresight. The author has succinctly characterized the most popular classifications of foresight methods related to different aims of foresight projects. The overview of classifications is furthermore enriched with the identification of advantages and disadvantages of methods usage. This is a very useful review, which in itself would make the Borodako's book worthwhile.

My only criticism of Borodako's book is the insufficient presentation of strategic management context in the final chapter. The book would be more convincing, if the author presented more examples of corporate foresight implementation, basing on firms and institutions such as Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, Deutsche Telekom, Lunar Design, KPN Research, or VTT Technical Research Centre.

Nevertheless, written in a highly accessible and simple to read manner (unfortunately only in Polish), Borodako's work is an invaluable book for Polish top and middle management, technology managers and entrepreneurs. It could be also of great interest to academics and students.


Havas, A. (2003), “Evolving foresight in a small transition economy: the design, use and relevance of foresight methods in Hungary”, Journal of Forecasting, Vol. 22, p. 179.

Miles, I. (2008), “The many faces of foresight”, in Georghiou, L., Cassingea Harper, J., Keenan, M., Miles, I. and Popper, R. (Eds), The Handbook of Technology Foresight: Concepts and Practice, Prime Series on Research and Innovation Policy, Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.Northampton, p. 17.

Stanovik, P. and Kos, M. (2005), Technology Foresight in Slovenia, Institute for Economic ResearchLjubljana, p. 4.

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