StrategyStrategic planning & foresight

This research theme is focused on the processes and practices of developing strategy. Researchers in this theme engage with the development of strategy under high levels of uncertainty.

Building on Strathclyde’s rich tradition on scenario planning and foresight, the research focuses on how managers anticipate and deal with uncertainty. Past and current research deals both with methods and practice of scenario planning. The research in this theme is largely qualitative based on ethnography, in-depth case studies, interviews and action research.



Dave Mackay

Professor Dave Mackay is currently leading two 2-year knowledge transfer partnerships relating to strategy and innovation objectives:

  • the first is with the Virgin Money group piloting a platform innovation approach to creating and digitally scaling a new customer offering
  • the second is with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks developing high engagement strategy and innovation processes, practices and systems towards the delivery of T2 business plan outcomes.

These partnerships – funded jointly by the organisations and Innovate UK – will deliver research-informed project outcomes of strategic value whilst building and embedding strategy and innovation capabilities.

In other work, in 2018 Professor Mackay was the lead designer for strategic prioritisation and KPI-setting aspects of the Oman Vision 2040 development process. Vision 2040 arose from a Royal Decree issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to provide a guide to future national planning over the next two decades under three key themes:

  • People and Society
  • Economy and Development
  • Governance and Institutional Performance

Funded by the Vision office, Professor Mackay led the design and facilitation of a series of workshops attended by several hundred participants from across Omani society and civic life. The result was the identification of priority guiding national objectives and KPIs to 2040 subsequently ratified by the national conference.

Peter McKiernan

Peter McKiernan’s main research focus is on how organisations learn about how their future might unfold and how they might prepare their current strategies to cope. Peter has recently been involved in a host of Strategy and Foresight projects including:

  • 'Scenarios for the Future of Higher Education', Strathclyde Business School
  • 'Scenarios for the Future of Glasgow City Region', Glasgow City Economic Recovery Group
  • 'Foresight and Strategic Visioning' for National Manufacturing Institute Scotland
  • 'Resilient Strategies' for Advanced Nuclear Research Group
  • 'Scenarios for the Future of Food Security', DEFRA


Veselina Stoyanova

Veselina Stoyanova’s research explores strategy development and change during turbulent events and contexts, with a focus on resource management (orchestration, accumulation, mobilization, and divestment) and capability development.

In the scenario planning research theme, she has contributed to ESRC funded study, Scotland Analysis Programme, examining the impact of the independence debate in Scotland and the United Kingdom on business decision-making processes across six vital sectors:

  • engineering
  • manufacturing
  • oil and gas
  • high technology
  • financial services
  • food and drink

Other collaborative research projects include studies examining scenario planning and industry recipes' fast-moving industry environments (e.g. Hollywood film industry).

Efstathios Tapinos

Efstathios (Stathis) Tapinos’ research explores how managers make sense of the future. His research on individual foresight has examined the relationship between foresight and prospective sense-making.

Stathis is also researching the practice of scenario planning. In his recent collaboration with the Oxford Scenario Programme, he led a project undertaking a global survey of scenario planning practitioners. The key findings concern the interaction between purpose – application – outcomes, highlighting how using scenario planning affects the application of the tools, which subsequently affects the outcomes of the process.

Stathis is also interested in the use of scenario planning as a research method. Finally, he is on the editorial board of Foresight and Futures Science.