Teaching scenario planning : lessons from practice in academe and business

Wright, George and Cairns, George and Goodwin, P (2009) Teaching scenario planning : lessons from practice in academe and business. European Journal of Operational Research, 194 (1). pp. 323-335. ISSN 0377-2217 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2007.12.003)

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In this paper, we engage with O’Brien’s [O’Brien, F.A., 2004. Scenario planning – lessons for practice from teaching and learning. European Journal of Operational Research 152, 709–722] identification of both pitfalls in teaching scenario planning and proposed remedies for these. We consider these remedies in relation to our own experience – based on our practice in both the academic and business arenas – and we highlight further pitfalls and proposed remedies. Finally, we propose the use of “hard” multi-attribute decision analysis as a complement to “soft” scenario planning, in order to allow a more formal method of strategy evaluation against a range of constructed scenarios, This approach is intended to remedy biases that are associated with holistic evaluations – such as lexicographic ranking – where undue attention is paid to particular strategic objectives at the expense of others. From this discussion, we seek to contribute to cumulative refinement of the scenario process.


Wright, George ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4350-7800, Cairns, George and Goodwin, P;