Title: Advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches for strategic foresight

Authors: Dana Mietzner, Guido Reger

Addresses: Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Strasse 89, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany. ' Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Strasse 89, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract: Scenarios, as a prime technique of future studies, have long been used by government planners, corporate managers and military analysts as powerful tools to aid in decision making in the face of uncertainty. The idea behind them is to establish thinking about possible futures which can minimise surprises and broaden the span of managers| thinking about different possibilities. Today, the question of what scenarios are is unclear except with regard to one point - they have become extremely popular. This paper attempts to shed light on differences in scenario approaches. It will describe the origin of scenarios and the development of different understandings and purposes for managers. Categories are developed to compare the different ways scenarios are performed. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches are analysed.

Keywords: scenario technique; scenario building; innovation strategy; technology planning; strategic foresight; uncertainty; decision making; scenario planning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2005.006516

International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2005 Vol.1 No.2, pp.220 - 239

Available online: 18 Mar 2005 *

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