The cultural contradictions of managing change: using horizon scanning in an evidence-based policy context
Purpose ? The purpose of this article is to identify points of conceptual conflict between evidence-based policy research and horizon (environmental) scanning.
Design/methodology/approach ? The paper begins with a brief history of foresight
in UK government, then describes the current government context for horizon scanning. Next, it defines horizon scanning as a method; highlights the contradictions between horizon scanning and more traditional empirical research; and offers suggestions to improve the rigor of horizon scanning.
Findings ? Increased focus on defining the rules for source identification and scan data validation can enhance credibility.
Research limitations/implications ? Current horizon scanning work in the UK government suggests these methodological improvements,
but proof will wait upon completion and deployment of several ongoing horizon scans.
Practical implications ? Provides improved acceptability and dissemination of horizon scanning as a tool, as well as heightened engagement of policy-makers, planners, and leaders
with horizon scanning output.
Originality/value ? There has been little previous work exploring the cultural constraints on adoption of horizon scanning within the evidence-based polity context.