Towards a theory of volitional strategic change : the role of transitional objects in constancy and change
Scenario planning is management approach to deal with uncertainty in the business environment. The intention of the approach is to allow management of organisations to better understand and manage their environment. There are many examples of scenario planning in the practitioner literature that suggest that the approach works in practice. There is however little empirical evidence to support or explore the validity of such claims. The origin of this thesis was an exploratory study to understand the impact of interventions using scenario planning in the context of small and medium sized enterprises. In conducting empirical research, the researcher can reflect on what has become a 'learning journey', which identifies the cognitive processes managers employ to manage change arising from such interventions. The research identifies managerial recipes and transitional objects allowing volitional strategic change to occur. That is, the existing managerial understanding based on past experience and success acts as a bridge from the existing world to a new world, without which change cannot be rationalised and management would be incapacitated. I have called this the 'upframed recipe', expressing its elements of lasting validity, the transitional object.