1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Scenario planning is an increasingly applied strategic process in a variety of contexts (Amer, Daim, & Jetter, 2013; Chermack, 2017; Varum & Melo, 2010). Because of the applied nature of scenario planning, it has grown from practice. Thus, there are opportunities to build the research base and establish evidence of espoused scenario planning outcomes (Amer, Daim, & Jetter, 2013; Varum & Melo, 2010). Many recent efforts to develop a strong evidence base for scenario planning have shown promise (Cairns & Wright, 2018; Chermack, & Nimon, 2008; Goodwin & Wright, 2001; Montibeller, Gummer, & Tumidei, 2006), and the study of scenario planning has increased in its complexity and rigor.
Scenario planning has been proposed and studied as a process for improving strategic learning (Bowman, 2016; Bradfield, Wright, Burt, Cairns, & Van Der Heijden, 2005; Goodwin & Wright, 2001; Gregory & Duran, 2001), supporting a collaborative organizational climate, and helping decision makers navigate complex environments (Cairns & Wright, 2018; Chermack, & Nimon, 2008; Goodwin & Wright, 2001; Montibeller, Gummer, & Tumidei, 2006; Chang, Tseng, & Chen, 2007; Wright & Goodwin, 2009). Further claims of scenario planning benefits include the ability to help decision makers see a wider set of possibilities, and thereby help decision makers become more adaptive, anticipatory and agile (Rohrbeck, Battistella, & Huizingh, 2015; Wright & Goodwin, 2004). Indeed, the ability to respond faster than the competition to changes in the external environment has long been an espoused core benefit of using scenarios for strategic thinking and decision making (Chermack, & Nimon, 2008; Wright & Goodwin, 2004; Wright & Goodwin, 2009). However, there is no evidence or research to support or refute the claim that scenarios can help decision makers become more agile.
Giving the fact that forecasting is very important in every business, it makes this topic professional and interesting. Forecasting here does not only make a business to think of where there will be tomorrow, but it helps a business to make better decisions, available opportunities and appropriate measures accordingly. Since forecasting can be used in unlimited ways, it gives most companies a whole lot of advantages. People make decisions daily, which have either a positive or a negative impact on their future. In the business world, business owners make decisions that may have positive or negative impact on the business. Thus, we can define forecasting as a tool that helps management in its attempt to cope with the uncertainty of the future relying on data of the past and present and analysis of trends. Also, forecasting be, predicting the future by making good and reliable decisions about the future. Forecasting is generally the backbone of the whole budgeting system. Since management must be able to know the level of its product in the market and hence project it sales, to be certain on the quantity to be produce. Thus, forecasting is a very vital concept in the life of an organization. Some ideas of the future are necessary to ease planning for the management. Performance measures help the government decision makers about whether they are achieving their policy goals. Looking at the background of the study on performance, it does not tell us what policy should be used. Performance measures tell us whether we are achieving the policy outcome we set out to achieve. The term business unlike trading or commerce whose lifespan terminate immediately the transaction ends, is the buying and selling of goods to provide utility to customers with the aim of making profit. The concept of business is all about continuity and for anybody to succeed in the future, he or she must be able to forecast, that is to predict the future. Never the less for a business to operate continuously and survive successfully, it depends on the ability of the management to forecast the future by avoiding risk. (Hartog et al., 2004). To succeed in business and to ensure performance for the future business owners must be able to answer some question about the future such as:
• How much profit will the business earn?
• How much demand will their product and services attract?
• What will be the cost of producing the goods or services?
• What amount of money is needed for production?
In view of the above points, it is seen that business owners must always estimate the future. Business forecasting is a quantitative plan of action aimed toward predicting the future business development by making possible judgment about some future events. Therefore, predicting the future must be done accurately giving all available information including historical data, and knowledge of any future event that may impact the forecast. Forecasting be a planning tool that will help management to cope with the uncertainty of the future, by relaying mainly on data from the past and present analysis of trends. As mentioned before, business forecasting is a quantitative plan of action for management aim at predicting the future. This implies that, management must be sure on the number of sales to market (sales budget) before knowing the quantity to produce, that is the production budget. This will then enable the business to know how cash has been made within the period and understand how much profit will be available. And thus, through forecasting, the future performance is known, and continuity is guarantee for the business. Since the future is generally known to be unpredictable, that is one cannot determine what the future holds. This then gave the researcher the interest to embark on a research work on the Role of Scenario Building and Forecasting in Improving Organizational Performance (A Case study of Springlight Technology)
1.2 PROBLEM OF THE STUDY
Scenario building/planning has been suggested as a tool that may help decision makers anticipate shifts in the external environment and therefore help their organizations perform more effectively (Cairns & Wright, 2018; Chermack, & Nimon, 2008; Goodwin & Wright, 2001; Montibeller, Gummer, & Tumidei, 2006; Chang, Tseng, & Chen, 2007; Wright & Goodwin, 2009). However, the claims have been situated in practical observations and anecdotes rather than in repeated instances of disciplined inquiry (Patterson, 2016; Rasmus, 2017). As a result, there is no clear and consistent evidence that use of scenario planning can result in organizations that are indeed more agile. The problem, then, is that:
While there have been strong arguments that scenario planning can promote organizational performance and agility (based on logic and practical observation), there is no research-based evidence to support the arguments.
As has been established, the practice of scenario planning has exceeded its scholarship. To contribute to stronger research, there are core purposes of this article. First, this article seeks to rigorously examine the link between scenario planning and perceptions of organizational performance, and second, to advance the data-driven, scholarly research base of scenario planning.
Given the identified problem and the purposes of the study, the research question that framed the study was:
RQ1: What are the effects of scenario building/planning on participant perceptions of organizational performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The key objective of the study is to examine the Role of Scenario Building and Forecasting in Improving Organizational Performance (A Case study of Springlight Technology)
The objectives of this piece of writing will be to look for better ways of forecasting that can better the performance of an organization.
Another objective will be to know more on the forecasting methods, and the easiest ways of applying this method. Furthermore, the researcher will look for a forecasting system that the case company could implement to have a better performance.
The study will further examine the link between scenario planning and perceptions of organizational performance, and second, to advance the data-driven, scholarly research base of scenario planning.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the effects of scenario building/planning on participant perceptions of organizational performance.
2. What are the better ways of forecasting that can better the performance of an organization?
3. What are the other forecasting methods, and the easiest ways of applying them?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Ho1: There is a significant effect of scenario building/planning on participant perceptions of organizational performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Generally, business forecasting in simple terms means predicting the future. It is therefore of great importance to know what the future holds. The research program has helped the researcher to master so well the concept of forecasting. This will help her greatly in her way of life on day to day bases. It has also helped her to contribute in one way or the other in the performance of any organization that she finds herself as she goes in to the job market. This study is also very important to everybody. Forecasting is known to be practice by every individual in their day to day activities. This is because no matter what you do, you most forecast. However, it is of special importance to the management of the business. Forecasting helps the management in decision making hence increasing future performance and providing a means to foresee future difficulties and hence manage risk adequately. This research work was carried out at Springlight Technology, head office in Uyo, AkwaIbom state. This credit union carries out a forecast before drawing up their functional budget for the accounting period. This enables them to foresee the future performance of the credit before the end of the period. Thus, the research work “the Role of Scenario Building and Forecasting in Improving Organizational Performance” is limited only to the management and staff of Springlight Technology.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study assesses the Role of Scenario Building and Forecasting in Improving Organizational Performance, a case study of Springlight Technology. Therefore, this study will be limited to Scenario Building and Forecasting as the subject matter. The study will be focusing on the Scenario Building and Forecasting in improving organizational performance. However, the study will be conducted among 10 staff and management of Springlight Technology.
1.8 Limitation of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Attitudes of Respondents: The researcher encountered the major challenge from the respondents on their typical reluctant attitude to fill the questionnaire or grant interview. In some cases, some respondents expect to be paid for the use of their time and knowledge; if otherwise, they were very reluctant in giving the required information. Some hoard information in keeping with the oath of secrecy. In spite of repeated assurance of confidentiality most of them fear the loss of their job and some were too busy to grant interview and fill the questionnaires correctly.
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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