Search results

1 – 10 of 18
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Joseph Voros

The purpose of this article is to examine the nature and type of methods used in futures studies and foresight work which are explicitly concerned with creating “forward

Downloads
1700

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine the nature and type of methods used in futures studies and foresight work which are explicitly concerned with creating “forward views” and/or “images of the future” (“prospective” methods).

Design/methodology/approach

A new analytical technique, “mode‐level analysis”, is introduced and described, based on a classification of “modes” of futures thinking and levels of “depth” of interpretive frameworks. By choosing both a set of thinking modes and a series of interpretive levels as a basis, prospective methods may be analyzed in terms of which mode(s) and what level(s) they operate with or at.

Findings

Two modes of thinking and five levels of depth are chosen for this analysis. The resulting schema is used to classify such methods as: wildcards, forecasting, “trend breaks”, visioning, backcasting, and alternative histories and counterfactuals. An analysis is also carried out on the method of “scenarios”, revealing a variety of different approaches operating at multiple levels of depth. The historical development of prospective methods is also discussed.

Practical implications

Mode‐level analysis can be generalized to any number of modes or levels, depending on the application, context or objectives of the analyst. It may be used by academics for interest's sake and for teaching students, and by practitioners as both a design tool and a diagnostic one.

Originality/value

This paper introduces a new technique for classifying prospective methods, and may help lead to ideas for the creation of new methods.

Details

Foresight, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Joseph Voros

A generic foresight process framework is outlined, based on prior independent work by Mintzberg, Horton and Slaughter. The framework was developed as part of work carried…

Downloads
6951

Abstract

A generic foresight process framework is outlined, based on prior independent work by Mintzberg, Horton and Slaughter. The framework was developed as part of work carried out by the author during the introduction of foresight into the formal strategic planning of a public‐sector university in Australia. The framework recognises several distinct phases, leading from the initial gathering of information, through to the production of outputs intended as input into the more familiar activities of strategy development and strategic planning. The framework is also useful as a diagnostic tool for examining how foresight work and strategy are undertaken, as well as a design aid for customised foresight projects and processes. Some observations and reflections are made on lessons learned from a two‐and‐a‐half year engagement as an organisationally‐based foresight practitioner.

Details

Foresight, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Olivia Bina and Andrea Ricci

Drawing on a EU-funded research project on urbanisation in China and Europe (URBACHINA), the purpose of this inquiry is to explore the potential of foresight – through…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on a EU-funded research project on urbanisation in China and Europe (URBACHINA), the purpose of this inquiry is to explore the potential of foresight – through visionary scenarios and related participatory processes – in promoting learning and sustainable futures in China’s centrally planned context. Our research explores the use of backcasting, of Donella Meadows’ “levers” and Paul Raskin’s “proximate-ultimate drivers” and of archetypal worldviews to further our understanding of how we think about the future, and of the tension between transition scenarios and transformative, paradigmatic or deep change.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of recent foresight studies and literature provides an overview of the latest approaches: in particular the methods, scope, process, level of participation, themes discussed and wild cards considered. Building on this, the inquiry designs and implements a participatory, normative and qualitative scenario building to explore sustainable urban futures for China, adapting the elements of Joseph Voros’ basic foresight process to include a total of nine steps, with five workshops, two international surveys, an adapted backcasting step and internal consistency mechanisms.

Findings

The combination of a participatory iterative process with normative approaches to envisioning, helped question assumptions and deeply ingrained development models, as well as the narrow space for “alternatives” resulting from China’s centralised, top-down planning and decision-making. The experience confirms the power of scenario/storyline building in helping reflect and question strategic policy choices and enrich urban policy debates. The process successfully proposed a number of steps that ensured triangulation of the envisioning outcomes and additional learning also through backcasting. Finally, the research shows a clear link between the development of scenarios space, the debate on transition and transformative futures and archetypal worldviews, which were shown to be stable even after decades.

Originality/value

The URBACHINA approach to the specific challenge of sustainable urbanisation in China applies a strong normative component combined to more locally accepted exploratory methods and introduces a participatory approach to all key stages of scenario building. This represents an innovative contribution to the country’s foresight practice and the results help Chinese decision makers to reflect on the wider sustainability implications of their urban strategy. The inquiry deepens our understanding of the use of proximate and ultimate drivers of change and of the tension between transition and transformation pathways to our future.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Joseph Voros

To outline and present a generalised scheme for using “layered methods” in foresight work.

Downloads
2042

Abstract

Purpose

To outline and present a generalised scheme for using “layered methods” in foresight work.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of different approaches to “layering” in futures studies and foresight work are examined and synthesised into a generalised scheme. The place of layered methods in foresight work is also examined, and the role of perceptual filters in interpretation is discussed.

Findings

A schema of four major “strata”, each potentially containing multiple sub‐layers, is developed. The strata range from, for example, short‐term trends in the shallowest level, through to long‐term macrohistorical forces at the deepest level.

Practical implications

The generalised scheme enables the practitioner to progressively move to greater levels of understanding as new layers of meaning are uncovered or constructed, as appropriate to the specific nature of the particular foresight engagement. The scheme also represents a template from which purpose‐built interpretive frameworks can be constructed, as needed, in foresight processes and work.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new, generalised and integrated approach to the use of interpretive frameworks in foresight work.

Details

Foresight, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Joseph Voros

The basis for a broadened scanning framework is described, which may also function as a means for understanding how human minds filter their perceptions of the world. The…

Downloads
1480

Abstract

The basis for a broadened scanning framework is described, which may also function as a means for understanding how human minds filter their perceptions of the world. The framework is based on the Four‐Quadrant Integral model of Ken Wilber and the Spiral Dynamics model of Don Beck and Chris Cowan. An analytical tool (cross‐level analysis) is presented for examining views of the world in terms of both the perceptual filters of the viewer and the aspect of the world being viewed, a technique which is also useful for analysing how other scanners do their scanning. A notation for cross‐level analysis is presented and described, with examples of its use.

Details

Foresight, vol. 3 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 14 October 2009

Joseph Voros

The purpose of this paper is two‐fold. First, to describe in detail a particular sub‐class of powerful prospective methods based on the method of “morphological analysis”

Downloads
1851

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is two‐fold. First, to describe in detail a particular sub‐class of powerful prospective methods based on the method of “morphological analysis”. And second, to extend their use to create a basis for strengthening strategic analysis and policy development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the history and use of morphological methods in foresight work, and briefly describes three main “lineages” currently in use, and proposes some extensions to models of practice.

Findings

Recent research in cognitive psychology suggests that requiring a detailed and systematic examination of future possibilities before a decision is made leads to more effective assessments of futures. Morphological methods, by design and construction, are perfectly suited to this, and so can form an exceptionally strong basis for thinking systematically about the future.

Practical implications

The paper also describes how to go about designing a foresighting capacity based on a systematic evaluation of future systemic contexts, as well as discussing what aspects of the external environment to include in robust competitive intelligence, strategic monitoring, environmental scanning, and “horizon scanning” activities.

Originality/value

The paper proposes some extensions to existing practice and describes some ways to tie the development of a strategic meta‐language to clearly‐targeted intelligence scanning. This paper should be of interest to anyone involved in trying to strengthen strategy development, policy planning or intelligence analysis.

Details

Foresight, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Jesus Navarro, Peter Hayward and Joseph Voros

The purpose of this paper is to report on how foresight methods are being used to address a “wicked problem” for the global furniture industry: “What are we going to do in

Downloads
2340

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on how foresight methods are being used to address a “wicked problem” for the global furniture industry: “What are we going to do in the furniture industry in high cost countries (HCC) to maintain our future competitiveness with respect to the competition coming from low cost countries?”

Design/methodology/approach

This study explores one sectorial initiative, CEFFOR® (Furniture Foresight Centre, headquarters in Valencia, Spain), that attempts to mitigate the negative impact of globalisation on the competitiveness of the furniture industry in HCCs, by creating a vision of a preferable future through the use of a set of qualitative foresight tools (structural analysis, morphological analysis/field anomaly relaxation, and cross impact analysis) involving a worldwide expert panel.

Findings

This paper examines the set‐up phase of the CEFFOR initiative, and describes the main elements of the morphological space developed to profile possible future configurations of the global furniture industry. Future papers will report on further model development and the subsequent take‐up of this work.

Practical implications

The approach used could be adapted to a variety of other industrial sectors. While this study examines a traditional industrial sector, there is no conceptual limitation on its use in other sectors, although such adaptation should clearly remain alert to the unique aspects of any industry.

Originality/value

The novelty of this initiative is the application of a normative foresight approach in a traditional industrial sector in order to generate a shared vision of a sustainable future, and to integrate this foresight approach with an existing business intelligence system.

Details

Foresight, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 12 July 2011

Linda Brennan, Joseph Voros and Erica Brady

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on concepts of validity and validation of social marketing research (SMR) with a view to enhancing SMR design and to inform SMR practice.

Downloads
1631

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on concepts of validity and validation of social marketing research (SMR) with a view to enhancing SMR design and to inform SMR practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper defines and presents concepts of validity in a manner that sheds light on the unique issues facing SMR and sets the stage for future research.

Findings

The paper introduces an integrated model representing the variety of relationships that exist amongst a range of validity concepts that will assist methodological practice and increased rigor in future studies. The authors also introduce a matrix on research paradigms that can support the integration of a range of philosophical considerations to SMR research design.

Research limitations/implications

The “quality” of research is being determined by those at the leading edge of their own paradigm without reference to other points of view. The authors argue that these sub‐processes of determining the validity of research outcomes are a challenge to the “discipline” of SMR and that SMR is at risk of becoming too narrowly focussed. Furthermore, the authors believe this is limiting SMR's potential to contribute to the broader domain of business or social research.

Social implications

Social marketing is an interdisciplinary practice. The paradigms of research within the social marketing domain are still being argued and are the subject of much debate. The authors believe that the conceptual frameworks developed for this paper will enhance the practices of research in the field of social marketing.

Originality/value

The paper provides a new conceptual framework for those developing SMR. This framework aims to integrate others' theories and provide a simplified framework for consideration of issues of validation in SMR.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Andy Hines

The Australian Foresight Institute has brought out a collection of essays that provide a wonderful introduction into the realm of integral thinking as being brought into…

Downloads
453

Abstract

The Australian Foresight Institute has brought out a collection of essays that provide a wonderful introduction into the realm of integral thinking as being brought into foresight and futures studies. They suggest a broader, more‐encompassing framework for understanding the future and providing context for what's going on today. Two essays explore foresight in everyday life and conclude that “foresight is something that can be improved with practice.” The second entry looks at how two leading practitioners, Richard Slaughter and Sohail Inayatullah, are applying critical thinking to foresight and challenging the taken‐for‐granted and probing for hidden assumptions. The third brings integral thinking to critique national science and technology foresight exercises. The final entry is a collection of three papers on the topic of “Reframing environmental scanning” that makes the case for a new approach and then lays out early progress in that direction.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 17 April 2007

Jacques Richardson

The purpose of this paper is to describe and explains the development of the evolving mental phenomenon of alternative history.

Downloads
630

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and explains the development of the evolving mental phenomenon of alternative history.

Design/methodology/approach

The article analyzes the role of the fiction known as the “What if?” school of speculation about the past, some of its conspicuous exemplars, and how its adaptation might affect attitudes and even prejudices about how to view life.

Findings

Present and future are not always what one thought they could become. “What if?” also gives rise to endeavours in “science” fiction and structured projections today dealing with circumstances of tomorrow and after.

Originality/value

Besides providing diversion, the approach serves to illustrate foresight's conception of “retrostrategy”.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

1 – 10 of 18