Forward looking analysis : investigating how individuals 'do' foresight and make sense of the future

Tapinos, E. and Pyper, N. (2018) Forward looking analysis : investigating how individuals 'do' foresight and make sense of the future. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126. pp. 292-302. ISSN 0040-1625 (

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The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the growing field of foresight process theory. Scanning the environment and assessing uncertainty are among the most important managerial activities in strategizing and decision-making. Although their significance in the strategy process is well documented, there is limited research on how uncertainty captured is analysed and interpreted by individuals without any formalised processes in order to anticipate the future. This paper examines how analysts from a professional service company, which specialises in forward-looking analysis, develop foresight, and how they determine the potential impact of their judgements. Within this in-depth inductive case study, firstly we explore forward-looking analysis as a foresight process. Secondly, we investigate how sensemaking takes place within forward-looking analysis. Thirdly, we advance the knowledge on the relationship between foresight and sensemaking; and specifically we show with empirical evidence that prospective sensemaking can be both ‘future perfect’ (Weickian) and ‘future oriented’ (post-Weickian).