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Title: Essays on how scenario planning and the building of new social capital are related
Author: Lang, Trudi J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7261
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation explores the relationship between scenario planning and the building of new social capital in addressing potential or actually perceived environmental turbulence. In particular, the research explores how, when environments around organizations risk unpredictable and disruptive change, people in those organizations can act to develop new social capital that contributes to their survival. In this research, I present scenario planning as a mechanism for organizations to build this new social capital. Scholars have suggested that certain forms of social capital are more conducive to being directly built than others. My research indicates that scenario planning entails aspects which, in effect, are direct investments in creating the cognitive social capital resources that make new sense of turbulence. These resources are created with the scenario process articulating new conceptual framings and possibilities for the future, thereby re-conceptualizing the situation. The resources enable new shared meanings to be created - directly building the cognitive dimension of new social capital while enabling the more researched structural and relational dimensions to be built as by-products. This dissertation also suggests that social capital can be built more quickly than researchers have previously indicated. By directly investing in the creation of new shared meanings, scenario planning can build new social capital faster than the centuries that Putnam and generations that Emery and Trist suggested were needed. The dissertation’s contribution to the social capital literature is to suggest how new social capital, by foregrounding the cognitive dimension, can be purposefully and more quickly built to address turbulent conditions. The contribution to the scenario planning literature is to propose a scholarly explanation for how scenario planning builds new social capital, suggested in practice but not yet theorized, and in so doing, provide practitioners with a new purpose to strengthen the return on investments these efforts require.
Supervisor: Ramirez, Rafael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business and Management ; Management ; scenario planning ; building social capital ; cognitive social capital