Using Groupware to Build a Scenario-Based Early Warning System

Using Groupware to Build a Scenario-Based Early Warning System

Theo van Mullekom (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and Jac A.M. Vennix (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-142-1.ch012
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Scenario analysis has been used as a technique to support strategy formulation for several decades. During scenario analyses, the effects of different possible futures (scenarios) on the performance of an organization are assessed. Moreover, actions are formulated to deal with these effects. This analysis may help organizations to prepare themselves to take effective actions when one of these futures manifests itself. A scenario approach to strategy formulation depends on intelligence gathering: one should (1) have relevant environmental information to build effective scenarios, and once a set of scenarios has been defined, one should (2) continuously monitor the environment to determine in what direction the future is moving. The usefulness of scenario analysis to focus intelligence activities—specifically the direction and analysis stages of the intelligence cycle—has been noted by several authors (e.g., Ellis, 1993; Tessun, 1997). In this chapter we will focus on scenario analysis as a tool to support the direction stage. In particular, scenario analysis may lead to a set of relevant early warning variables. Specific attention will be paid to the role of ICT tools (specifically groupware tools) to support the construction of scenarios and to derive a set of relevant early warning indicators.

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