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Title: Scenario success criteria : the process and design factors affecting its attainment
Author: Bradfield, Ronald Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 0540
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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Scenario techniques have been used in companies such as Royal Dutch Shell for more than 40 years and there are numerous attestations in the literature as to the benefits scenarios bring to organsations. Despite this little rigorous research has been undertaken of the scenario development process. This research aims to make a start on rectifying this by examining the scenario process in detail in a longitudinal case study of groups of MBA students undertaking a scenario development exercise using the most commonly cited scenario methodology. The aim of the research is structured around three main research questions these being to distil from the literature the success criteria of scenario planning; to establish the fundamental elements of effective scenarios necessary in order achieve the success criteria; and to identify factors impacting the scenario development process which affect the accomplishment of effective scenarios and ultimately the achievement of the success criteria. The central argument of the thesis is that while numerous scenario development models are proposed in the literature, they are largely based on anecdotal evidence, lack empirical underpinning or validation, and significantly underestimate the complexity of the scenario development process. At the same time there are large bodies of research on cognitive processes and group facilitation in the domains of psychology and group decision support systems respectively, both of which have an impact on the scenario development process, but the findings in these areas has not yet migrated to the scenario literature to any depth. The contribution this thesis makes to theory is threefold. Firstly, it synthesises and links the literature on cognitive processes to the literature on scenarios and additionally, points to the literature on facilitation of similar group processes and the relevance of this to scenarios; secondly it establishes three interrelated organisational objectives which combine to form the success criteria of scenarios, and identifies the fundamentals of effective scenarios necessary to achieve the success criteria. Thirdly it identifies a range of cognitive processes, heuristics and biases which impact the scenario process and significantly influence the ability of groups to develop effective scenarios.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available