Environmental uncertainty, foresight and strategic decision making

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Author: Vecchiato, R.

Title: Environmental uncertainty, foresight and strategic decision making: an integrated study

Year of Publication: 2012

Journal: Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Volume: 79 Issue: 3

Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2011.07.010

Keywords: business, case study, change, equilibrium, gestalt switch, management, organization, qualitative

Abstract: This paper explores how the foresight practices and techniques that might be used for coping with environmental uncertainty are coordinated throughout large corporations and how their results are used for supporting strategic decision making. Based on an in-depth and multiple study of several companies, we analyse the main characteristics of environmental uncertainty - complexity and dynamism - that shape companies’ approaches to strategic foresight and uncertainty management. We explore the impact of growing complexity and dynamism on these approaches and the role of prediction and control in their design and implementation. We outline a conceptual framework for strategic foresight activities - and their relationships with decision making under uncertainty - as a planned learning process about the future which enables managers not to know opportunities and threats in advance, but to detect them more promptly and to react more effectively as soon as they start emerging.