A Strategizing Perspective in Foresight in search of

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A Strategizing Perspective in Foresight - in search of theories behind foresight Presentation at

A Strategizing Perspective in Foresight - in search of theories behind foresight Presentation at the YIRCo. F’ 11 Yeditepe International Research Conference on Foresight and Futures August 24 -26, 2011, Istanbul Per Dannemand Andersen*, Allan Dahl Andersen, Birgitte Rasmussen Section of Innovation Systems and Foresight * [email protected] dtu. dk

Motivation – 1 Foresight as a practice • Foresight is a well-established field of

Motivation – 1 Foresight as a practice • Foresight is a well-established field of practice – Use in public policy and in business – Profession: foresight professionals in government, business, consultancies etc. 2 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Motivation – 2 Roots of today’s practice of foresight American tradition on technology forecasting

Motivation – 2 Roots of today’s practice of foresight American tradition on technology forecasting from 1940 s and 1950 s • American experiences from defence and aerospace • A linear understanding of innovation • Experts point of view (elite scientists and industrialists) • Positivistic view on development and the future • Engineering and econometrics European tradition on futures studies from 1960 s and 1970 s • European experiences from dealing with grand societal challenges • Futures studies as an art • (Participatory) creative and imaginative thinking and acting • Pessimistic view on development and technology • Humanities and social sciences International tradition on foresight developed since mid-1980 s • International experiences from national foresights exercises for priority-setting in science, technology & innovation (STI) policy • Starting with Japan, Germany, France, Korea and UK • Reflecting new understandings within • Systems of innovation / innovation policy • Strategic planning • The new science (Mode 2, Triple-Helix, socially robust) 3 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Motivation - 3 Foresight as an academic discipline • ‘. . an academic discipline,

Motivation - 3 Foresight as an academic discipline • ‘. . an academic discipline, or field of study, is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined (in part), and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, and the learned societies and academic departments or faculties to which their practitioners belong. • Fields of study usually have several. . branches, and the distinguishing lines between these are often both arbitrary and ambiguous’ (http: //www. thefreedictionary. com referring to Abbot, 2001). 4 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark • Full masters programs (e. g. USA, Australia) • Foresight courses at (technical? ) universities and business schools • Academic journals (e. g. Foresight, Futures, TFSC) • Learned societies? ? • Conferences (e. g YIRCo. F ’ 11) • Departments/groups at universities • Ambiguous distinctions between forecasting, foresight, futures studies, strategic planning, etc?

Motivation – 4 The gab between practice and theory • most academic foresight literature

Motivation – 4 The gab between practice and theory • most academic foresight literature reflect the practice of foresight as it is descriptive or normative (Georghiou et al. , 2008; Popper, 2008) • is generally acknowledged that there is gap between practice and theory in foresight (Hideg, 2007, Barré & Keenan, 2008; Weber et al. , 2010) • recently literature has discussed ‘theoretical underpinning’ of foresight and possible theory building in foresight (Fuller & Loogma, 2009; Öner, 2010; Borch, Forthcoming). • Our aim: to contribute to the discussion on theoretical perspectives behind the practice of foresight 5 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

What is theory ? • (T)heory is. . ’a set of statements or principles

What is theory ? • (T)heory is. . ’a set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural, social or other phenomena’. (http: //www. thefreedictionary. com) • (t)heory: structured assumptions, concepts, structured empirical observations etc. • We agree in ’that there is no such thing as a Grand Theory of Foresight and Futures Studies’ (Öner, 2010) • We agree in that theories of Foresight and Futures Studies draw from academic disciplines such as – management, computer sciences, cultural anthropology, economics, history, industrial engineering (decision sciences), mathematics, philosophy and ethics, political science, psychology, public administration, social psychology, sociology, statistics, systems theory, etc (Öner, 2010). 6 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

What is foresight theory • Reference lists in foresight literature support that the practice

What is foresight theory • Reference lists in foresight literature support that the practice of foresight indirectly builds on lots of theory (assumptions, concepts, structured empirical observations, etc. ). • E. g. foresight articles in journals such as Foresight, Futures, TFSC, TASM • A preliminary literature survey indicates that several more established academic fields contribute to foresight. The following seems to be the most important: – evolutionary economics or systems of innovation approach: Schumpeter, Nelson & Winter, Freeman, Lundvall, Pavitt, Dosi, etc. – strategic planning: Penrose, Porter, Mintzberg, Prahalad & Hamel, Nonaka & Takeuchi, etc. – futures studies: Wack, Slaughter, Inayatullah, Masini, Dator, Glenn, Schwartz, Halal, Sardar, etc. – science and technology studies (STS) Kuhn, Popper, Nowotny, Gibbons, Fuller, Rip, Latour, Giddens, Foucault, Scott, etc. 7 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

What is foresight ? 1980 s (1983) • Foresight is “. . a convenient

What is foresight ? 1980 s (1983) • Foresight is “. . a convenient shorthand for efforts to identify “which research areas are likely to lead to the greatest economic and social benefits”” (Martin, 2010) 1990 s • Technology foresight is defined as ”. . systematic attempts to look into the longer-term future of science, technology, economy and society with a view to identifying emerging generic technologies to yield the greatest economical and/or social benefits” (Martin, 1995; OECD, 1996; inspired by Irvine & Martin) 2000 s • Foresight is a systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process aimed at enabling presentday decisions and mobilising joint actions (European Foresight Platform, 2011; FOREN, 2001). 8 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

What is foresight ? The practice of foresight has changed (e. g. ; Georghiou,

What is foresight ? The practice of foresight has changed (e. g. ; Georghiou, 2001, Miles et al. 2008; Miles, 2010) – from focusing on intra-organisational planning and forecasting in science and technology policy – to put more emphasis on open and inter-organisational strategizing with inclusion of external stakeholders in the processes in innovation policy making Consequently: – the search of theories behind foresight can not be limited to issues concerning forecasting or visioning future developments 9 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

A strategizing and transition managment perspective • Strategizing can be seen as a transition

A strategizing and transition managment perspective • Strategizing can be seen as a transition process in which the system, organization or regime is directed towards a common goal (Giddens, 1984; Nygaard, 2006) • Transition management of organizational or societal systems requires three types of knowledge generation (Wiek et al. 2006): – System knowledge: concepts and data about the relevant systemic structures, micro- and macro-processes, linear and non-linear interrelations etc. , aiming at an integrative understanding of the system under consideration. – Target knowledge: guiding concepts, visions, norms, preferences etc. – Transformation knowledge: information on how to realize the transition from the current to the target state. It comprises knowledge about all kind of strategies, programmes, instruments as well as political and economic constraints, conflicts and scopes of action. 10 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

A strategizing perspective - on search of theories behind foresight 11 DTU Management Engineering,

A strategizing perspective - on search of theories behind foresight 11 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Co-evolution of understandings Innovation system Freeman, 1987: • . . network of institutions in

Co-evolution of understandings Innovation system Freeman, 1987: • . . network of institutions in the public- and privatesectors whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify and diffuse new technologies Lundvall et al, 2009: • . . an open, evolving and complex system that encompasses relationships within and between organisations, institutions and socioeconomic structures which determine the rate and direction of innovation and competence building emanating from processes of science based and experience based learning 12 Foresight STI policy governance Martin, 1995: • . . the process involved in systematically attempting to look into the longer-term future of science, technology, the economy and society with the aim of identifying the areas of strategic research and the emerging generic technologies likely to yield the greatest economical and social benefits” Lundvall & Borrás (2006) Science policy “. . about allocating sufficient resources to sciences, (and) to distribute them wisely between activities” EFP, 2011; FOREN, 2001 • . . a systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process aimed at enabling present-day decisions and mobilising joint actions Innovation policy (today)“. . the reviewing and redesigning of linkages between parts of the system” “. . closer cooperation vertically between user and producers and sometimes even horizontally among competitors” DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark Technology policy “. . focus on technologies and sectors. . especially science-based technologies”

Our focus • Many scholars (e. g. Bowman, Dawson, Mintzberg, Pettigrew, van de Ven)

Our focus • Many scholars (e. g. Bowman, Dawson, Mintzberg, Pettigrew, van de Ven) emphasize that organizational processes cannot be understood in an acontextual cross, cross-sectional manner (Balogun et al. 2003). Our focus is on • Sectoral (industrial sector or branch) foresight exercises • Target public policy making • A particular case: the Agri-Food sector in rural areas of Denmark 13 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Theory contributions to foresight - a few examples Innovation systems Foresight/Futures Studies • Systems

Theory contributions to foresight - a few examples Innovation systems Foresight/Futures Studies • Systems evolve over • Experts are overtime in a pathoptimistic in Delphi dependent manner exercises’ assessment (Johnson, Edquist of occurrence (Tichy, 2003) 2004) STI policy governance • Policy initiatives should be made to find specific solutions via experimentation and learning (Rodrik (2006) • Knowledge innovation • The ’Foresight Diamant’ periods are followed (Popper, 2008) • Public procurement is by knowledge an important tool in consolidation periods innovation policy and they seem to (Edler & Georghiou, match the long waves 2006) in the economy (Linstone, 2002) 14 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Summing up • The presentation has contributed to the discussion on theories behind foresight.

Summing up • The presentation has contributed to the discussion on theories behind foresight. • Foresight is emerging as an academic field with a theoretical framework that draw from many other more established disciplines. • For sector oriented foresight exercises these disciplines in particular must include theories from the innovation system approach and governance of STI policy. • We label this a strategizing perspective to foresight. Implication: • It might be useful to agree on such existing framework (and on which language to use) beside developing new theories of foresight and futures studies. 15 DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark