Scenario planning implies the collective participation of a variety of people—experts, strategists, managers—organized in networks to create alternative representations of the future. As a networking process, scenario planning has a sensemaking function to challenge strategic paradigms of organizations and to rethink their internal and external borders. From a longitudinal case study, this article reviews the rise of future studies or prospective in France to show how scenario planning can use networking structures and actually create networks. Among the practical examples of the scenario-building process within an organization, the EDF (French electric company) shows that scenario planning groups are semiformal, and can create a networking activity not limited in time and space. From a more general perspective, scenario planning should evolve by expanding existing networks but also by creating new ones to include small businesses and involve new areas. Information technology could thus support this expansion, but more as a communication tool.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2000
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