Process of becoming: a relational turn in scenario planning

George Burt, Anup Karath Nair

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Scenario planning emanates from ‘strategy’ rooted in a ‘substantive’ mode of thinking that unproblematically presumes an organization-environment dichotomy. By viewing stability and change as antitheses where one works at the expense of the other, such a conceptualization does not account for the counter-intuitive and unintended consequences of planned action. We therefore propose an alternative mode of theorizing which draws inspiration from a processual worldview. We develop and apply this understanding to scenario planning at a leading Scottish whisky producer. In doing so, we expose the limitations of traditional scenario planning. Then by applying ‘relational thinking’, we address these limitations and demonstrate how a processual re-conceptualizing not only revitalizes scenario planning but also furthers its functional utility while designing goals, actions and aspirations for organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2013
EventStrategic Management Society: Strategy in Complex Settings Conference - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Jun 201322 Jun 2013


ConferenceStrategic Management Society: Strategy in Complex Settings Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • scenario planning
  • relational thinking
  • processual re - conceptualizing


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