Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Drawing on research in the psychological sciences that has largely been overlooked in the scenario planning literature, this article argues that when used unskillfully scenarios can anchor and confine, rather than stretch and expand, strategic thinking and that constructing scenarios can itself be a biased activity, one that can induce new and amplify extant biases rather than remove them. Furthermore, unless skillfully introduced, scenario techniques can reduce or increase disproportionately the confidence and uncertainty of decision makers, leading correspondingly to misplaced optimism and threat rigidity among decision makers. In addition, the article highlights how, in some circumstances, the negative emotional impact of scenario analysis can override the potentially positive cognitive effects. Guidelines for using scenarios in organizational decision making are offered throughout.

Keywords: psychological sciences, scenarios, scenario planning, organizational decision making, scenario technique, cognitive effects

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.