Prospective thinking; scenario planning meets neuroscience

McKiernan, Peter (2017) Prospective thinking; scenario planning meets neuroscience. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 124. pp. 66-76. ISSN 0040-1625 (

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The Intuitive Logics (IL) scenario planning process is grounded in the work of Hermann Kahn and Pierre Wack in the 1960s and 1970s. Its broad adoption and sustained use over 50 years has taken it beyond the typical management fashion or fad. It has helped shape the strategies of many types of institutions and organisations. The process encourages individuals to recall past events and to imagine future happenings. But, little is known about neither how they do this nor the contextual conditions that shape how they do it and how they might do it better. Recent developments in cognitive psychology and neuroscience have had success in several management domains e.g., marketing, information systems, leadership, economics and finance. However, little attention has been paid to their application in strategic management and, in particular, in scenario planning. The paper provides a critical coverage of the pertinent cognitive sciences literature and explores opportunities for co-joint research between scenario planners and cognitive psychologists that might help to further foster and support the IL process.