Teaching scenario planning: lessons from practice in academe and business

George Wright, George Cairns, P Goodwin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, we engage with O’Brien’s [O’Brien, F.A., 2004. Scenario planning – lessons for practice from teaching and learning. European Journal of Operational Research 152, 709–722] identification of both pitfalls in teaching scenario planning and proposed remedies for these. We consider these remedies in relation to our own experience – based on our practice in both the academic and business arenas – and we highlight further pitfalls and proposed remedies. Finally, we propose the use of “hard” multi-attribute decision analysis as a complement to “soft” scenario planning, in order to allow a more formal method of strategy evaluation against a range of constructed scenarios, This approach is intended to remedy biases that are associated with holistic evaluations – such as lexicographic ranking – where undue attention is paid to particular strategic objectives at the expense of others. From this discussion, we seek to contribute to cumulative refinement of the scenario process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-335
    Number of pages13
    JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


    • scenario planning
    • academe
    • business
    • education
    • psychology
    • OR in strategic planning


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