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Project Hindsight: Exploring Necessity and Possibility in Cycles of Structuration and Co-Evolution

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The successful management of strategic change requires an understanding of which moves are possible in specific contexts, and thus of how specific contexts variously require, forbid, or permit certain organizational or policy actions. Appreciation of such modal issues of necessity and possibility thus becomes essential in understanding organizational and technological dynamics. This paper introduces the concept of modal narratives: forms of analytically structured narrative that explore questions of necessity, possibility and contingency. After a brief review of two common types of modal narrative - counterfactuals and scenarios - the potential of a third form is suggested: the superfactual. An extended example of a superfactual is provided in the Project Hindsight case, and the implications for strategic action are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Queen Mary, London, UK 2: University of the West of England, Bristol, UK 3: Newcastle University, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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