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Cultivating strategic foresight in practice: A relational perspective

Sarpong, David; Maclean, Mairi


David Sarpong

Mairi Maclean


© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Drawing on relationalism as a theoretical lens, we examine how normative organising structures, rights and authority relationships influence the cultivation of strategic foresight among organisational members lower down the organisational hierarchy. We adopt a case-based approach involving three software firms, whose innovation teams served as our empirical research sites. Our study highlights the triadic influence of individual, organisational and contextual organising practises on the cultivation of strategic foresight. We identify four relational assemblages of practises that enable (or impede) the enactment of strategic foresight in practise. These include strategic conversations, perspective taking and reflexivity-in-practise, over-emphasis on formal knowledge and technical rationality, and benevolent conspiracies. We add to research on strategic foresight by extending our understanding of the vital role that lower-level employees may play in the cultivation of organisational 'foresightfulness'. We therefore urge management advisors to accord lower-level input recognizably respectful consideration, if not adoption.


Sarpong, D., & Maclean, M. (2016). Cultivating strategic foresight in practice: A relational perspective. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 2812-2820.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 13, 2015
Publication Date Dec 30, 2016
Journal Journal of Business Research
Print ISSN 0148-2963
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 8
Pages 2812-2820
Keywords innovation teams, relationalism, social practice, strategic foresight
Public URL
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