How do companies envisage the future? Functional foresight approaches

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The main aim of the paper is to present the synthesis of the results of methodological analysis conducted on examples of foresight projects executed in chosen companies representing four companies type: small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), nonprofit- organization, international corporations and consulting companies as well as to posit functional approach for the implementation of foresight research within organizations. The empirical part of the study is based on the qualitative approach. A multiple case study methodology is employed. The research objects are sixteen companies experienced in foresight research. The first part of the paper gives an overview of definitions of corporate foresight and the analysis of background that have influence on the conducting of foresight in large multinational companies on one side and SMEs on the other side. In the field of the theory of foresight research, the study demonstrates that there are different motivations for foresight introduction as well as different organizational structure of teams conducting the activities and the approaches that they use. In the practical perspective, the study and a detailed functional foresight approach proposed by authors could be valuable for SMEs who consider implementing foresight research into their strategic planning processes.

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