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Changing perspectives on foresight and strategy: from foresight project management to the management of change in collective strategic elaboration processes

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Abstract:

Reflexivity about foresight activities for strategic management is often seen as too low. In order to enhance the reflexive capacity of foresight practice, a reframed perspective can be proposed, by considering individual foresight projects within the broader conceptual framework of 'future-oriented debates', analogous to the models of 'hybrid forum' or of 'strategic conversation' developed respectively in the fields of sociology of science and strategy, consisting both of the succession of foresight operations on a common theme, and of the community of actors associated to their discussion. Foresight can then be considered as an intervention in such a future-oriented debate, aiming at incremental change, with the objective to improve its quality, for which some criteria can be proposed. The usefulness of this change of perspectives from project management to the management of change is illustrated by the example of the international debate on future water scarcity.

Keywords: foresight; forum; future-oriented debate; incremental change; intervention

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09537320902750699

Affiliations: Management Sciences Department, AgroParisTech/ENGREF, Paris Cedex 15, France

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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