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On the influence of organisational routines on strategic foresight

Gloria Appiah (Doctoral Student, Roehampton Business School, University of Roehampton, London, UK)
David Sarpong (Senior Lecturer in Strategy and International Business, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 14 September 2015




The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual model to unpack the relationship between organisational routines and strategic foresight integration.


Three moderating factors, actors mindfulness, organisational context and organisational ambidexterity, are used in a Routines-Foresight Model to explain how and when organisational routines might influence strategic foresight integration. In addition, the interactions between the ostensive and performative aspects of routines are linked to the concept of routines as generative structures to provide a solid theoretical foundation for the relationship between routines and foresight.


The success (or failure) of foresight integration is partly a result of the nature of interaction between the ostensive and performative aspects of routines within a focal organisation. As a result of the characteristic embeddedness of routines in organisations however, certain factors further act as moderators to contribute to a holistic explanation of how the ostensive and performative interaction influence foresight integration success.

Research limitations/implications

This paper proposes that routines, whether seen from a change or stability-inducing perspective, could lead to success or failure in foresight integration depending on how the moderating factors (actor’s mindfulness, organisational context and organisational ambidexterity) are managed to accommodate feedback from an organisation’s external environment. In this way, the model proposed challenges present perceptions of routines as leading to successful change behaviours if flexibility is allowed or to failure if they are rigid and unchanging.

Practical implications

Cultivating strategic foresight involves the integration of foresight into organisational decisions and requires organisations to pay attention to understanding the organizing logic of its organizing routines and the contextual factors within which these routines are performed.


The paper draws on the organisational routines literature to develop new insights into the cultivation of organisational foresightfulness.



Appiah, G. and Sarpong, D. (2015), "On the influence of organisational routines on strategic foresight", Foresight, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 512-527.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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