Using Scenario Planning in Regional Development Context: The Challenges and Opportunities
Journal article, 2013
Purpose – Planning under conditions of uncertainty is more demanding than doing the same under less uncertain circumstances. Planning which is coupled to high level of uncertainty requires good strategic thinking by the planners. There are a number of methods used for planning under such circumstances. Among these methods is scenario planning. Scenario planning has been used for classical management to help organizations and firms in their decision-making activities. One area where scenario planning has not been used intensively, according to the authors’ understanding, is in a regional development context and especially in relation to the innovation aspects and policy issues.
Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors discuss and exemplify the possible utilization of scenario planning to promote innovation in a regional development context. They look at the hidden potential of the method and discuss the challenges of its utilization. To run their analysis, they use a number of cases from the health sector. These cases are unique because they also involved input from a number of actors of the regional innovation system.
Findings – The authors found that scenario planning is a valuable tool to deal with regional development schemes under high level of uncertainty and where diverse actors from the regional innovation system are involved.
Originality/value – The authors argue in this work that scenario planning has the potential to be used, at a more intense scale, in promoting innovation activities in organizations within the context of a regional development drive. Surely, scenario planning need be considered when discussing innovation in relation to introduction of new therapies, new educational schemes, and other regional development initiatives.
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