On Inquiry in Futures and Foresight Science

Two patterns of inquiry in futures and foresight science have been called into question, namely, the conflict of interest inherent in the practice of self‐observation among facilitators and the inadequacy of retrospective scientific accounts by proponents of their own methods. This is especially concerning as the broader management literature, in addition to numerous disciplinary areas, make the “practice turn,” which implies greater emphasis on enactment in practice, and therefore, greater scrutiny of the methods used to evaluate, examine, and explore those practices. In this piece, we reflect on the practice of inquiry in futures and foresight science. We fully and unambiguously acknowledge that there are many barriers to the empirical study, direct observation, and scholarly communication of futures and foresight practices. We propose a collaborative “facilitator‐observer” model of inquiry to obviate predictable critiques of futures research. One author facilitates; the other author observes. The upshot of this examination is insight associated with observing the enactment of ontology “in action” and a novel framework for the collaborative display of results that usefully differentiates the facilitator from the observer as authors. In the end, after sharing our inquiry practices, we recommend more analytical energy be devoted to reflecting on the conduct of science in futures and foresight in the widest sense. After all, our collective credibility is on the line in scientific circles beyond the close‐knit futures community.

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Work Title On Inquiry in Futures and Foresight Science
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. NICHOLAS JAMES ROWLAND
Keyword
  1. scenario planning
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
Publisher
  1. Futures & Foresight Science
Publication Date 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1002/ffo2.37
Deposited February 25, 2021

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  • Created
  • Added Creator NICHOLAS JAMES ROWLAND
  • Added ffo237.pdf
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher, Publisher Identifier (DOI), and 3 more Show Changes
    Keyword
    • scenario planning
    Publisher
    • Futures & Foresight Science
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    • 10.1002/ffo2.37
    Description
    • Two patterns of inquiry in futures and foresight science have been called into question, namely, the conflict of interest inherent in the practice of self‐observation among facilitators and the inadequacy of retrospective scientific accounts by proponents of their own methods. This is especially concerning as the broader management literature, in addition to numerous disciplinary areas, make the “practice turn,” which implies greater emphasis on enactment in practice, and therefore, greater scrutiny of the methods used to evaluate, examine, and explore those practices. In this piece, we reflect on the practice of inquiry in futures and foresight science. We fully and unambiguously acknowledge that there are many barriers to the empirical study, direct observation, and scholarly communication of futures and foresight practices. We propose a collaborative “facilitator‐observer” model of inquiry to obviate predictable critiques of futures research. One author facilitates; the other author observes. The upshot of this examination is insight associated with observing the enactment of ontology “in action” and a novel framework for the collaborative display of results that usefully differentiates the facilitator from the observer as authors. In the end, after sharing our inquiry practices, we recommend more analytical energy be devoted to reflecting on the conduct of science in futures and foresight in the widest sense. After all, our collective credibility is on the line in scientific circles beyond the close‐knit futures community.
    Publication Date
    • 2020
    License
    • https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
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  • Updated