Storytelling and the scenario process: understanding success and failure

Gary Bowman, R. Bradley MacKay, Swapnesh Masrani, Peter Mckiernan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    36 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Scenario planning has become a widely used strategic management approach for understanding future environmental uncertainty. Despite its increasing popularity in management practice, the theoretical underpinnings for scenario planning processes remain underdeveloped. Furthermore, there is little analysis on why some scenario methods succeed and others fail. To address this gap, we draw on storytelling theory as a conceptual lens for analyzing our data. This paper uses a longitudinal case study of two successive scenario planning interventions over a nine-year period in an intra-organizational partnership to investigate the efficacy of scenario planning development processes. Of the two interventions, the first, which followed what we term an ‘inductive’ method, was successful, meeting the objectives set by the organization, while the second approach, which we term ‘deductive’, was deemed a failure. We develop a process model explaining these divergent outcomes based on how meaning was either enabled or inhibited in the two methods through storytelling.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages735–748
    Number of pages14
    JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
    Volume80
    Issue number4
    Early online date8 May 2012
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013

    Fingerprint

    Planning
    Practice Management
    Lenses
    Uncertainty
    Longitudinal Studies
    Scenarios
    Scenario planning
    Storytelling
    Environmental uncertainty
    Planning process
    Strategic management
    Process model
    Efficacy
    Management practices
    Longitudinal case study
    Scenario method
    Development process

    Keywords

    • storytelling
    • sense making
    • scenario planning

    Cite this

    Bowman, Gary ; MacKay, R. Bradley ; Masrani, Swapnesh ; Mckiernan, Peter. / Storytelling and the scenario process : understanding success and failure. In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2013 ; Vol. 80, No. 4. pp. 735–748.
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    Storytelling and the scenario process : understanding success and failure. / Bowman, Gary; MacKay, R. Bradley; Masrani, Swapnesh; Mckiernan, Peter.

    In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 80, No. 4, 01.05.2013, p. 735–748.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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