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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/14321

Authors: Rollier, Bruce
Turner, Jon A.
Keywords: strategic planning
strategy formulation
strategic information systems
decision support systems
Issue Date: Jan-1992
Publisher: Stern School of Business, New York University
Series/Report no.: IS-92-04
Abstract: As organizational environments become more turbulent and complex and as uncertainty about the future increases, reliance on quantitative decision-making approaches for strategic planning becomes less appropriate. Scenario analysis can be an effective qualitative technique for enhancing strategic planning. Typically, scenarios are presented as alternate futures. Some theorists, however, have suggested that forward and backward thinking are different cognitive processes. In this study, we investigate the effect of presenting scenarios retrospectively; that is, as if future events had already happened. A repeated measures laboratory study compared the performance of professional planners (n = 64) using prospective and retrospective scenarios in two simulated business planning tasks. Measures consisted of objective factors (number of individual planning statements and number of monitoring statements), subjective factors (quality based on an 18-question rating instrument), and subject attitudes concerning their experience with the two treatments. Results suggest that use of retrospective scenarios do increase the number of planning statements. In addition, plans prepared using retrospective scenarios were rated higher overall than those prepared with prospective scenarios. Moreover, evidence emerged that a subset of subjects were better able to make use of the retrospective technique, suggesting that selection along with training may improve planning performance.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/14321
Appears in Collections:IOMS: Information Systems Working Papers

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