A decision-analysis-based framework for analyzing stakeholder behaviour in scenario planning

Cairns, George and Goodwin, Paul and Wright, George (2016) A decision-analysis-based framework for analyzing stakeholder behaviour in scenario planning. European Journal of Operational Research, 249 (3). pp. 1050-1062. ISSN 0377-2217 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2015.07.033)

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Scenario planning is a method widely used by strategic planners to address uncertainty about the future. However, current methods either fail to address the future behaviour and impact of stakeholders or they treat the role of stakeholders informally. We present a practical decision-analysis-based methodology for analysing stakeholder objectives and likely behaviour within contested unfolding futures. We address issues of power, interest, and commitment to achieve desired outcomes across a broad stakeholder constituency. Drawing on frameworks for corporate social responsibility (CSR), we provide an illustrative example of our approach to analyse a complex contested issue that crosses geographic, organisational and cultural boundaries. Whilst strategies can be developed by individual organisations that consider the interests of others – for example in consideration of an organisation's CSR agenda – we show that our augmentation of scenario method provides a further, nuanced, analysis of the power and objectives of all concerned stakeholders across a variety of unfolding futures. The resulting modelling framework is intended to yield insights and hence more informed decision making by individual stakeholders or regulators.