Managerial foresight: concept and measurement

Managerial foresight: concept and measurement Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to establish what foresight is, to review past usages and definitions of foresight and to synthesize them into one generic definition, in order to make the concept measurable. Design/methodology/approach – A discussion on how to classify variables in the social sciences serves as the starting‐point. Next, a review of past definitions and usages of the concept foresight is followed by further analysis and then synthesizing of the generic definition. The generic definition is finally compared and contrasted with the related concepts of forecasting, strategic analysis, and intuition. Findings – Foresight is defined as behavior along three dimensions: degree of analyzing present contingencies and degree of moving the analysis of present contingencies across time; degree of analyzing a desired future state or states a degree ahead in time with regard to contingencies under control; and degree of analyzing courses of action a degree ahead in time to arrive at the desired future state. Research limitations/implications – The article makes foresight quantitatively measurable, which in turn makes it possible to empirically measure the existence of foresight among managers and to test the relationship between foresight and organizational performance. Practical implications – Practical foresight tools and programs, etc. can now be assessed and compared by both practitioners and researchers. Originality/value – In identifying three fundamental behavioral dimensions of foresight, the article conceives and advances foresight as a distinct concept that can be related to several research areas, both on individual (e.g. managerial) and organizational levels. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png foresight Emerald Publishing

Managerial foresight: concept and measurement

foresight, Volume 10 (1): 14 – Feb 22, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1463-6689
DOI
10.1108/14636680810856026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to establish what foresight is, to review past usages and definitions of foresight and to synthesize them into one generic definition, in order to make the concept measurable. Design/methodology/approach – A discussion on how to classify variables in the social sciences serves as the starting‐point. Next, a review of past definitions and usages of the concept foresight is followed by further analysis and then synthesizing of the generic definition. The generic definition is finally compared and contrasted with the related concepts of forecasting, strategic analysis, and intuition. Findings – Foresight is defined as behavior along three dimensions: degree of analyzing present contingencies and degree of moving the analysis of present contingencies across time; degree of analyzing a desired future state or states a degree ahead in time with regard to contingencies under control; and degree of analyzing courses of action a degree ahead in time to arrive at the desired future state. Research limitations/implications – The article makes foresight quantitatively measurable, which in turn makes it possible to empirically measure the existence of foresight among managers and to test the relationship between foresight and organizational performance. Practical implications – Practical foresight tools and programs, etc. can now be assessed and compared by both practitioners and researchers. Originality/value – In identifying three fundamental behavioral dimensions of foresight, the article conceives and advances foresight as a distinct concept that can be related to several research areas, both on individual (e.g. managerial) and organizational levels.

Journal

foresightEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 22, 2008

Keywords: Managers; Forward planning; Behaviour; Organizational behaviour

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