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Management and cultivation of strategic foresight in contexts of rapid change, greater complexity, and genuine uncertainties

Special issue call for papers from Foresight

Guest Editors:

David Sarpong, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England

Martin Amsteus, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Joseph Amankwah-Amoah, Department of Management, University of Bristol


Occupying analogous intellectual space with concepts such as long range planning, strategic planning, and strategic thinking, strategic foresight has come to dominate contemporary management discourse on the creation and capture of sustainable value in complex and fast moving environments. Theorized as an organizing capability that enable firms to transcend established boundaries to capture opportunities otherwise glossed over by competitors, the topic of strategic foresight has attracted considerable academic interest during the past decade. A growing body of evidence now suggests that strategic foresight could lead to durable organizational outcomes such as adaptive learning, ambidexterity, and innovation.

Nevertheless, theoretical and empirical specifications on the management and cultivation of strategic foresight as an organizing capability remain sparse. At best, the existing literature on organizational foresight has suggested two opposite perspectives on the cultivation of strategic foresight. Conceptualizing managers as the locus of strategic foresight, some scholars suggest that the cultivation of foresight requires firms to episodically organize ultra-rational corporate futures exercises. This view is supported by the proliferation of corporate foresight exercises and multifarious methodologies such as scenario planning, Delphi, environmental scanning etc. Others in contrast, have highlighted the distributed nature of strategic foresight and the contingent role of ‘ordinary’ organizational members in the cultivation of strategic foresight by emphasizing everyday organizing practices, routines, and activities as the site of emergence of strategic foresight.

The purpose of this special issue, therefore, is to explore the antecedents, logics and organizing dimensions of strategic foresight and how it could be managed and leveraged in fast moving environments.


The Special issue will include a set of critical papers, essays, and book reviews on the specified theme. A pre-application process towards full submissions will be undertaken (i.e. submission of abstracts for approval) for efficiency.

Possible topics for essays and papers include but are not limited to:

• What are the origins and locus of strategic foresight?
• What insights from history can help extend our understanding of strategic foresight?
• How do organizing routines and practices influence the cultivation of strategic foresight?
• When and how can organizations capture value from corporate foresight exercises?
• What constitutes strategic foresight and how can it be quantified or measured?
• How and when does strategic foresight lead to the identification of opportunities for adaptive learning and innovation?
• How can one integrate or embed strategic foresight in an organization?
• How can firms embedded in uncertain and dynamic environments balance their concurrent need to remain viable in the present while preparing for the future?
• What are the organizational and institutional antecedents that enable the creative emergence of strategic foresight in strategic groups such as product innovation teams?

Book Reviews:

A few original reviews of books will be considered for inclusion in the Special Issue. The books reviewed must be salient to the main theme, and the reviews must provide useful insights. Kindly contact the guest editor if in doubt on the appropriateness of the book to be reviewed. 

Important dates:

April 2014 - Publication of Call

01 August 2014  - Submission of Abstracts

15 August 2014  - Notification of successful authors

30 November 2014 - Final date for submission of manuscripts

30 January 2015 - Review, comments & notifications to authors

30 March 2015 - Final papers due

June 2015 - Expected publication


Instructions for submissions:

Abstracts: Abstracts should be prepared using the following format and submitted to [email protected] or faxed to +44 (0)117 3282129 by 01 August 2014.

Guidance on preparation of abstracts is available at

Papers: Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Send one copy of your submission in the form of an MS Word-compatible file attached to an e-mail. The papers should be emailed to the guest editor. The paper submission should also include an updated structured abstract following journal guidelines ( 

As a guide, articles should be 5,000 – 7,000 words, and book reviews approximately 1,000 words. A title of not more than eight words should be provided. A brief autobiographical note should be supplied including full name, affiliation, e-mail address and full international contact details. A general guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available at the journal’s website:

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

Only upon acceptance, authors will be asked to submit other required documentation and transfer the article to Manuscript Central, Emerald's online submission and peer review system.

A selection of papers that are not published in the Special Issue may be considered for other publication with the notification and approval of the respective authors.

Submissions to:
Guest Editor: David Sarpong
Bristol Business School
University of the West of England
Bristol, BS16 1QY United Kingdom
E-mail: [email protected]