Foresight styles assessment: a valid and reliable measure of dimensions of foresight competence?

van der Laan, Lucas and Erwee, Ronel (2012) Foresight styles assessment: a valid and reliable measure of dimensions of foresight competence? Foresight, 14 (5). pp. 374-386. ISSN 1463-6689


Purpose - The Foresight Styles Assessment (Dian 2009; Gary 2008, 2009) was regarded as an important empirical measure and dimension of a strategy level leader's dominant and back-up styles of engaging with matters related to anticipating the future. The measure is also associated as a dimension of foresight as a leadership competence (Dian 2009). This study sought to determine the validity and reliability of the revised FSA as proposed by Gary (2008).
Design/methodology/approach - A quantitative two-step methodology was adopted as a pilot study preceding the main study in which a web-based survey methodology was used. The sample consisted of 298 strategy level leaders. Data was analysed using advanced statistical analysis techniques including Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modelling.
Findings - The FSA's four factors; Tester, Adapter, Framer and Reactor, were confirmed but did not display uni-dimensionality. Analytical results confirmed the validity and reliability of the measure, and the Sructural equation Model illustrated good model fit. The Reactor Factor was determined to be a method factor and theoretical concerns could be raised regarding whether the Reactor factor describes a foresight style. Future research of a summated 3 factor scale (excluding the Reactor factor) is suggested and should include strategy-level leaders, especially in more diverse populations, investigating further, the nomological validity and reliability of the scale.
Research limitations/implications - Due to the purposive non-probability sampling technique the sample results are not generalisable. However, the statistical results are rigorous and significant in terms of determining the validity and reliability of the measure. Further research of a summated three-factor (Tester, Framer, Adapter) scale amongst a more diverse population is suggested.
Practical implications - While some notable studies have been conducted, futures studies research generally lacks validated and reliable quantitative measures related to the foresight construct. As suggested by Inayatullah, the importance of understanding the value free observations of the empirically observable is required to meaningfully conduct deeper analysis of social issues. The findings of this research has implications in the study of foresight by a) providing empirical grounds for further exploratory research, and b) provides rigorous evidence supporting the use of the Foresight Styles Assessment especially as a three-factor summated scale. Use of the scale is not limited to foresight studies, indeed it can and has been applied to broader leadership cognition and strategic management studies yet to be reported.
Originality/value - In terms of measuring a broader construct of foresight competence, the rigorous validation of a measure to enable further interpretive, exploratory and critical research is important. To the author's knowledge, using structural equation modelling techniques in futures studies is very rare if at all. The study further contributes to the development of a rigorous measure that may facilitate significant foresight/futures studies/leadership and management future research.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy (Emerald).
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2013 07:22
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2014 03:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: foresight styles assessment; dimensions of foresight; structural equation modelling; leaders; forward planning; strategy level leaders
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150308 International Business
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1108/14636681211269860

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