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Enhancing foresight between multiple agencies : issues in the use of scenario thinking to overcome fragmentation

Cairns, George and Wright, George and van der Heijden, Kees and Bradfield, Ron M. and Burt, George (2006) Enhancing foresight between multiple agencies : issues in the use of scenario thinking to overcome fragmentation. Futures, 38 (8). pp. 1010-1025. ISSN 0016-3287

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Abstract

We critically compare two illustrative cases where local government and partner organisations sought substantive grounds for collaboration on e-government, by gaining foresight from the application of the scenario methodology. On the basis of our case analyses, we show that inter-organisational fragmentation may be attenuated by the application of scenario method - which acts to enhance inter-organisational foresight. We demonstrate that the scenario method achieves this by promoting a non-adversarial, strategic conversation that can enable new and creative insights to be gained across the participant agencies. However, on the basis of one of the cases, we propose the need for early critical consideration of the influencing role of the project sponsor/leader within such a collaborative network.