Framtidsstudier i stora organisationers långsiktiga planering analysmodell och fallstudier

Detta är en avhandling från Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Sammanfattning: People use a variety of means to orient themselves towards the future. A more organised approach to handling the future known as "futures studies" is often used in a variety of contexts including long-term planning within large organisations. In the effort to enhance the quality of such studies, there have been arguments for better methods (which makes sense), but methods may not be the most important aspect in the production of futures studies. Greater theoretical awareness in the substantive questions upon which the study is based is more important. To that end, the intent of this dissertation is to infuse a keener awareness of fundamental assumptions in futures studies and contribute to increasing their quality.One objective of the dissertation is to formulate a method or procedure to analyse the futures studies of large organisations, apply it to two empirical cases and thereafter analyse its strengths and weaknesses. The method I discuss and develop extensively in this work consists of an analytical framework that focuses on three aspects of each future study: its architecture, its relationship to a few of the key future issues of our time and its assumptions regarding our views on society, humanity and technology. A second objective is to systematically study future documents from two large organisations and attempt to clarify motives, orientation, methodology and distinguishing characteristics in their future processes. The cases I have chosen are the Swedish Armed Forces and the telecommunications company Ericsson, which were both in a period of transition around the mid 1990s.The dissertation shows how the method has been used to bring to the fore and clarify central ideas in futures studies, identify ambiguities and fuzzy thinking and to show and expose more covert assumptions. The analysis also illustrates that certain aspects of the model have been observed in the empirical material, other ideas are found to a lesser extent and certain perspectives are entirely absent. The paper stresses that the model developed has both strengths and weaknesses, but the overall assessment is that it was well-balanced and maintains appropriate depth in relation to desired efficiency. The study shows that the analytical method is relevant and adequate to understand and describe the direction and content of futures studies and in so doing enhance their quality.