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The depth of the horizon: searching, scanning and widening horizons

Ian Miles (Based at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, and National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)
Ozcan Saritas (Based at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, and National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 2 November 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

This essay aims to introduce horizon scanning as an approach fundamental to most foresight studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay combines a general review of the topic with an overview of a range of horizon‐scanning approaches that are in use in the UK health system.

Findings

Different approaches – shorter as well as longer‐term, searching as well as broad scanning – are appropriate in different circumstances. In times of systemic change it is necessary to combine approaches of all types.

Research limitations/implications

Only a small sample of the huge range of horizon‐scanning exercises has been studied, and the essay has not gone far into the question of how horizon‐scanning relates to other elements of the foresight process.

Practical implications

The implication is that horizon‐scanning should be undertaken on a routine basis, and should be integrated into planning activities from the start.

Social implications

Horizon‐scanning is a tool needed in activities such as planning for the workforce, and for health and safety issues.

Originality/value

The essay covers a wide range of activities with real‐life illustrations in addition to overall assessment.

Keywords

Citation

Miles, I. and Saritas, O. (2012), "The depth of the horizon: searching, scanning and widening horizons", Foresight, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 530-545. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636681211284953

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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