Executives regularly make decisions in the face of uncertainty. When planning the future of the organization, how should leaders make assumptions for the near or long term? Scenario planning is a technique for identifying forward-looking alternative realities in which the organization can sustain itself.
A scenario is defined by Godet and Roubelat (1996, p. 8) as a “description of a future situation and the course of events which allows one to move forward from the original situation to the future situation.” Scenario frameworks are used for preparing for alternative futures but not as a vehicle for forecasting the future.
Business scenarios are used as analytic tools to inform strategic decisions. A business scenario is a view of a possible competitive environment based on a set of assumptions about important uncertainties that face the business and industry and may affect organizational performance. For example, decisions on competitive strategy such as new product development are based on projections of product and market conditions.
Using frameworks, companies can create scenarios, allowing leaders and managers to be more cognizant of the external environment and status of their company. Scenarios can be of three major categories: (1) exploratory, starting from past trends leading to a likely future; (2) anticipatory or plausible built on different definitions of the future, desired or feared (the Oxford method); and (3) probabilistic stance (best case/worst case) (Godet & Roubelat, 1996; Ramirez et al. (2017).
This assignment gives you the opportunity to evaluate the four scenario-building frameworks presented in the assigned readings and apply the frameworks to plan for the future of one segment of the pharmaceutical industry. You will use the Scenario and Alternative Futures Template to complete your assignment.
Choose one of the following industry segments for this assignment:
United States name-brand pharmaceutical manufacturers develop prescription and over-the-counter products that are used to prevent or treat illnesses in humans or animals. Name-brand drugs and medication have patent protection. This industry does not include nutritional supplement or cosmetics manufacturers. In 2020 the industry size was $205 billion in revenue (Kennedy, 2021, 32541a).
United States generic pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers develop prescription and over-the-counter drug products that are used to prevent or treat illnesses in humans or animals. Generic drugs are produced and distributed without patent protection, and industry operators are not significantly engaged in the research and development of new drugs. The industry does not include manufacturers of nutritional supplements or cosmetic beauty products. In 2020 the industry size was $58 billion in revenue (Kennedy, 2021, 32541b).
Part 1: Scenario Synthesis
The first portion of your assignment requires you to evaluate the following four scenario frameworks by critically assessing their main ideas or constructs and synthesizing the research findings. You will evaluate the research of Day & Schoemaker (2005), Godet & Roubelat (1996), Hussain et al. (2017), and Ramirez et al. (2017) using the Scenario Synthesis Matrix (Table 1) section of the Scenario and Alternative Futures Template [DOCX]. Remember, as in all of the course assignments, all assigned and researched articles should be entered into your Capstone Literature Matrix.
Day, G. S., & Schoemaker, P. J. H. (2005). Scanning the periphery. Harvard Business Review, 83(18), 135148.
Godet, M., & Roubelat, F. (1996). Creating the future: The use and misuse of scenarios. Long Range Planning, 29(2), 164171.
Hussain, M., Tapinos, E., & Knight, L. (2017). Scenario-driven road mapping for technology foresight. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 124, 160177.
Ramirez, R., Churchhouse, S., Palermo, A., & Hoffmann, J. (2017). Using scenario planning to reshape strategy. MIT Sloan Management Review, 58(4), 3137.
- The matrix is a synthesis, not a summary. A synthesis requires different main points or arguments presented by the authors from each of the scenario articles on their respective scenario frameworks. Complete the following steps:
Evaluate and identify the main points of each article.
Populate the first column of the synthesis matrix with the main points.
Work down the column from article to article. How does each article relate to the main points identified? Note: some articles may not cover all of the main ideas listed. Leave the field blank if the article does not address that main point.
- Complete the final column: your synthesis.
Provide an introduction to the matrix and the process steps you followed. The matrix itself will be followed by a written summation of your findings on scenario constructs and frameworks and their application.
Part 2: Scenario Framework for Pharmaceutical Industry
You are a consultant hired to facilitate a meeting of executives at MiracleDrugs to conduct a decade-futures look. As the consultant, review the industry discovery summary of your research in the IBISWorldindustry database that you previously provided to the client. Complete the following for this section:
- Identify which scenario framework from Part 1 you will use to facilitate the meeting and explain why you chose this one over the others.
Identify five current state pharmaceutical industry trends or performance indicators essential to begin developing 10-year scenarios.
Based upon the selected framework, create five trigger questions for the executive team to use in creating 10-year pharma scenarios.
- Trigger questions are provocative prompts for creating innovative solutions to problems. “What if” is a great way of asking trigger questions that would shake up or change the industry.
Justify your selection and include the current industry outlook based on your research. To help you in your analysis, take the time to review the Day and Schoemaker (2005) article Scanning the Periphery, which offers valuable insights on the skill sets needed for futures thinking.
Note: You will need a minimum of three references in addition to the assigned readings. Add any new references to the Capstone Literature Matrix [XLSX] and include the Excel document with your assignment submission. Refer to the DB8415 Library Guide as needed.