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Strategic Foresight in High-Hazard Organizations - An Analysis of Case Studies in three U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Miethke, Moritz (2021) Strategic Foresight in High-Hazard Organizations - An Analysis of Case Studies in three U.S. Nuclear Power Plants. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Miethke, Moritz
Abstract:

Contemporary societies rely on numerous organizations in hazardous environments to provide and maintain necessary infrastructures like energy and transportation. These organizations operate under constant hazards to themselves and to the people in their environment. Like all areas of society, high-hazard organizations are facing growing levels of complexity and an environment of constant and rapid technological and societal change. The increasing complexity and perpetual change simultaneously contribute to uncertainty and ambiguity. Especially in hazardous environments, the likelihood of failure increases with rising uncertainty and ambiguity. This accentuates the need to develop methods that can contribute to high-hazard organizations' continued safety. One such method may be strategic foresight. By challenging mental frames and contrasting and testing them against alternative futures, strategic foresight can help high-hazard organizations cope with rising levels of complexity.

This research investigates the distinct characteristics of high hazard organizations and how these affect their ability to employ strategic foresight. For this purpose, the researcher performed a qualitative content analysis of three case studies in U.S. nuclear power plants, as classic examples of high-hazard organizations. The investigation revealed significant challenges for the development of foresight capabilities, especially in regard to the ability to combine new with existing knowledge. This deficiency is due to strong departmentalization, which leads to silo behavior and split mental models, obstructing the effective diffusion of information.

The findings from this research may help researchers and practitioners to understand the peculiarities of high-hazard organizations better and may aid in developing methods to integrate strategic foresight in high-hazard organizations.

Date: 2021
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 18:41
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2021 18:41
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3162

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