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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2019

Alessandro Fergnani

The purpose of this paper is to formally introduce the future persona, a futures method to let scenarios come to life. A future persona is a scenario-specific fictional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to formally introduce the future persona, a futures method to let scenarios come to life. A future persona is a scenario-specific fictional individual living in the future scenario (s)he is meant to depict. The paper provides a formal, systematic and clear step-by-step guide on how to create engaging and effective future personas after a scenario planning exercise.

Design/methodology/approach

After having introduced the future persona method, tracing it back to the customer persona method in user centered design (UCD) and differentiating it from previous uses of futures characters in the futures studies literature and in other domains, an example of the creation process of four future personas based on four scenario archetypes of the futures of work is provided, illustrated with pictures and discussed.

Findings

Future personas, with their narratives and graphical illustrations, are found to be particularly useful to convey scenarios to a target audience.

Practical implications

Futures personas can be used in a scenario planning exercise to increase the clarity of scenarios in the mind of scenario planners and to let scenarios be known inside an organization.

Originality/value

Future personas can substantially enrich scenarios, increasing their liveliness, playfulness and empathy.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Tom Lombardo and Ray Todd Blackwood

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that, given contemporary global challenges and trends, the central goal for the future of higher education should be to

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that, given contemporary global challenges and trends, the central goal for the future of higher education should be to facilitate the development of wise cyborgs.

Design/methodology/approach

Contemporary global challenges are identified. A theory of wisdom and wisdom‐based education is outlined, highlighting the development of character virtues and enhanced future consciousness. It is demonstrated that a wisdom‐based education is necessary for addressing global challenges. The intimate evolutionary connection between human intelligence and technology is described, including a general definition of a cyborg. The concept of a wise cyborg is described. Examples are provided regarding how to facilitate the educational development of the wise cyborg.

Findings

Solutions to modern global challenges require a synthesis of holistic, integrative, future‐focused, and ethical thinking – all qualities of wisdom. The qualities of wisdom can be described analytically and addressed educationally. Humans have purposely enhanced their functional capacities through technology throughout history. Humans are cyborgs and the intimate functional synthesis of the biological and technological will further develop in the future. Wise people in the future will be wise cyborgs. Educational methods can be identified that facilitate the development of wise cyborgs.

Originality/value

Wisdom, a concept traditionally associated with philosophy and spiritual thinking, is connected with technological evolution. An educational approach is described which synthesizes wisdom and character virtues with future consciousness and technological proficiency. This educational model is applied to creating individuals who can successfully address the problems of today and tomorrow.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Jordan L. LeBel and Nathalie Cooke

The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of consumers' relationships with branded spokescharacters by drawing upon brand personality theory and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of consumers' relationships with branded spokescharacters by drawing upon brand personality theory and reader‐response theory, focusing specifically on food trade characters. We aim to show that the persuasive power of these characters resides not only in their appearance, but also in the complex narratives consumers project (sometimes unwittingly) onto the spokescharacter.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of a survey – blending quantitative and qualitative methodologies – designed to document consumer perceptions, affective responses and spontaneous associations to different characters (i.e. Aunt Jemima, Robin Hood, Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben, Poppin' Fresh the Pillsbury's Doughboy, and M. Felix and Mr Norton, characters created by a Montreal‐based cookie company).

Findings

The results revealed that consumers associate spokescharacters with distinct personality profiles. Also, a connection was found between spokescharacters and narrative: a relationship where the characters become part of a larger narrative paradigm and more importantly, a relationship where the consumer is cast in a specific role vis‐à‐vis the spokescharacter.

Practical implications

These results should invite brand managers to stay current with the variety of associations that consumers form and how these associations influence the perception of their brand's personality. The results further underscore the need to understand the role into which consumers are cast vis‐à‐vis a branded character. Future research should examine cross cultural differences in the perception and narratives of branded characters, especially since many multinational companies use branded characters across cultural divides.

Originality/value

The paper shows how consumers play an active role in rendering a spokescharacter likeable, credible, and even memorable and documents the narratives that engage consumers and are both constructed collaboratively with them and propagated by them.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Dean Neu, Constance Friesen and Jeffery Everett

Starting from the premise that formal ethical codes and other ethical discourses differ in their audiences, effects and characteristics, it is analyzed how…

Abstract

Starting from the premise that formal ethical codes and other ethical discourses differ in their audiences, effects and characteristics, it is analyzed how practitioner‐directed ethical discourses have spoken and continue to speak about character‐based ethics. Borrowing from the literature on professions and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice, starts from the assumption that editorials in practitioner‐oriented publications are a form of cultural good traded on an internal symbolic market. By providing access to symbolic capital, trade in this good acts to bind together members of the accounting profession, yet trade in this good also has the potential to obscure a number of important, underlying social issues. The study is based on a close (textual) reading of editorials in the Canadian Chartered Accountant (subsequently renamed CA Magazine) from 1911 to 1999, and this reading is framed in light of a number of macro‐level and meso‐level (contextual) changes. It is found that character‐based ethical discourses continue to pervade this professional field, though not without important changes which themselves need to be explained in light of the more widespread, non‐professional field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2020

Gerard Seijts, Jose A. Espinoza and Julie Carswell

There has been a surge of interest in leader character and a push to bring character into mainstream management theory and practice. Research has shown that CEOs and board…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been a surge of interest in leader character and a push to bring character into mainstream management theory and practice. Research has shown that CEOs and board members have many questions about the construct of leader character. For example, they like to see hard data indicating to what extent character contributes to organizational performance. Human resource management professionals are often confronted with the need to discuss and demonstrate the value of training and development initiatives. The question as to whether such interventions have a dollars-and-cents return on the investment is an important one to consider for any organizational decision-maker, especially given the demand for increased accountability, the push for transparency and tightening budgets in organizations. The authors investigated the potential dollar impact associated with the placement of managers based on the assessment of leader character, and they used utility analysis to estimate the dollar value associated with the use of one instrument – the Leader Character Insight Assessment or LCIA – to measure leader character.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used field data collected for purposes of succession planning in a large Canadian manufacturing organization. The focus was on identifying senior management candidates suitable for placement into the most senior levels of leadership in the organization. Peers completed the LCIA to obtain leader character ratings of the candidates. The LCIA is a behaviorally based and validated instrument to assess leader character. Performance assessments of the candidates were obtained through supervisor ratings.

Findings

The correlation between the leader character measure provided by peers and performance assessed by the supervisor was 0.30 (p < 0.01). Using the data required to calculate ΔU from the Brogden-Cronbach-Gleser model leads to an estimate of CAD $564,128 for the use of the LCIA over the expected tenure of 15 years, which is equivalent to CAD $37,609 yearly; and CAD $375,285 over an expected tenure of 10 years, which is equivalent to CAD $37,529 yearly. The results of the study also indicate that there is still a positive and sizeable return on investment or ROI associated with the LCIA in employee placement even with highly conservative adjustments to the basic utility analysis formula.

Originality/value

Utility analysis is a quantitative and robust method of evaluating human resource programs. The authors provide an illustration of the potential utility of the LCIA in a selection process for senior managers. They assert that selecting and promoting managers on leader character and developing their character-based leadership will not only leverage their own contributions to the organization but also contribute to a trickle-down effect on employees below them.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

John Fiset and Melanie A. Robinson

Scholars and practitioners generally acknowledge the crucial importance of visions in motivating and inspiring organizational change. In this article, we describe a…

Abstract

Purpose

Scholars and practitioners generally acknowledge the crucial importance of visions in motivating and inspiring organizational change. In this article, we describe a two-part activity based on visionary leadership scholarship and theory designed to teach students to cultivate foresight and consider future possibilities through the organizational vision statement development process.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an experiential design, the exercise draws on several empirically validated techniques to encourage foresight and future thinking, to help students place themselves in the shoes of the chief executive officer of a hypothetical organization and use dramaturgical character development strategies to craft the vision statements that they will champion.

Findings

The exercise has been used in three different business courses (N = 87) and has been well received.

Originality/value

The content of the exercise is adaptable to a variety of courses in which leadership and vision are focal topics – such as organizational behavior, strategy and leadership – and could also be modified for an online classroom setting.

Details

Organization Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1541-6518

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

Chris Ansell, Arjen Boin and Moshe Farjoun

The environment of most organizations is beset by continuous change, instability, flux, and unpredictability. If organizations are to survive and prosper under such…

Abstract

The environment of most organizations is beset by continuous change, instability, flux, and unpredictability. If organizations are to survive and prosper under such conditions, they must be capable of dynamic adaption and stable and reliable performance. Organization theory recognizes the importance of both imperatives, but typically assumes that they pull organizations in different directions. Building on Selznick’s theory of institutionalization, we argue that institutions can, should and sometimes do master the challenge of being responsive and stable, while avoiding the potentially destructive tendencies of rigidity and opportunism. Contrary to a prominent view that strong institutionalization leads to inertia, Selznick’s theory suggests that strong institutions are capable of preemptive adaptation to protect the character of their institutions. We describe this state as one of dynamic conservatism and explore four types of preemptive internal reform strategies: strategic retreat, self-cannibalization, experimentation, and repositioning. We conclude with a consideration of factors that might moderate the ability of strong institutions to proactively change in order to remain the same.

Details

Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-726-0

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2006

Rosamond Rhodes and Lawrence G. Smith

This chapter argues for appreciating the distinctiveness of medical ethics. If the ethics of medicine is different from the ethics of everyday life, it follows that the…

Abstract

This chapter argues for appreciating the distinctiveness of medical ethics. If the ethics of medicine is different from the ethics of everyday life, it follows that the character of physicians is and should be different from the character of others. Molding the character of future physicians therefore becomes an important matter for the attention of medical educators. In that light, this chapter explains the appropriate goals for such an educational program and discusses the means for teaching and inculcating the principles, attitudes, and behaviors that physicians need to embrace in order to fulfill their special social role and professional obligations.

Details

Lost Virtue
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-339-6

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Nicholas J. Rowland and Matthew J. Spaniol

This paper asks “Why is the future in futures studies plural?” The attitude toward inquiry, based on post-actor-network theory (ANT) literature, positions philosophical…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper asks “Why is the future in futures studies plural?” The attitude toward inquiry, based on post-actor-network theory (ANT) literature, positions philosophical questions about the ontological character of the future within the context of “planning” for it (i.e. in practice). Multiplicity, as a post-ANT sensibility, helps one make sense of the empirical materials. This paper examines the possibility that rather than being alternatives to one another, plural futures and the singular future might co-exist in practice, and, thus, constitute a multiplicity.

Design/methodology/approach

In this case study, “planning” is narrative scenario planning. The second author facilitates dialogue-based long-term strategic scenario planning processes, primarily in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, and contributes a wealth of professional experience to the project. The first author, an academic, shadows the second author. This paper examines experiential and observational data for evidence of the ontological character of the future. Elements of a typical scenario planning process, in this case, about the possibility of crewless (i.e. unmanned) shipping vessels are demonstrated – although, insight into the crewless ship is submerged by our analytical attentiveness to the ontology of the future.

Findings

The findings bear on what sort of “object” the future is. Practices associated with planning for the future appear to transform it so that one future becomes many, and, without irony, managing the growing number of futures seems to be a core function of planning for the future. The implication is that neither plural futures nor the singular future is – individually – satisfactory to capture what is found in practice. It is both plural and singular; ontologically, it is the future multiple.

Originality/value

The original contribution is in demonstrating how plural futures and the singular future co-exist in practice. Thus, an eclipse of the future by futures can only ever be partial. For “futures” to be conceptually potent, “the future” must be at least provisionally believable and occasionally useful. Otherwise, if “the future” were so preposterous an idea, then “futures” would cease to be a critical alternative to it. Futures needs the future; they are relationally bound together in a multiplicity. This paper considers what such a logical reality implies for a field that distances itself from the future and self-identifies with futures.

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Monica D. Hernandez and Michael S. Minor

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it aims to review East‐West writing system (cross‐script) differences and summarize previous work examining the cross‐script…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it aims to review East‐West writing system (cross‐script) differences and summarize previous work examining the cross‐script effect on consumer responses. Second, it aims to describe the implications for international marketing and cross‐cultural studies. Third, it seeks to propose specific questions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the paper presents a critical literature review of studies investigating cross‐script differences influencing consumer attitudes, memory, and information processing. Based on the provided integrative analysis, future directions are indicated for areas relying heavily on written communication, such as international marketing communications, internet marketing, international branding, and cross‐cultural consumer research.

Findings

Despite the pervasive nature and importance of written language, scant research has addressed differences between East/West consumer responses attributable to native script processing.

Originality/value

The paper is among the first to point out the insufficiency of scholarly studies on written language effects on consumer responses. The findings raise international marketers' awareness of differences in East‐West written language processing in order to effectively target consumers.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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