An Interpretive, Multilevel Theory of Scenario Planning: Advancing Human Resource Development Theory Building
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This study advances theory building as the process of modeling real-world phenomena and uses a theory-to-research strategy in the theory building process. A five-step theory building methodology constitutes applied theory building in general and was applied in grounding scenario planning (SP) theory. The methodology for multilevel theory building (MLTB) utilized in this study was preceded by recognition that human resource development (HRD), SP, and organizations are multilevel phenomena. This study focused on the theoretical perspectives underpinning SP previously addressed in HRD literature and advanced claims that can be made with respect to ontological and epistemological philosophies found in the interpretive (philosophical hermeneutics) paradigm capable of attending not only to the conjectural nature of futures studies, but a theory of understanding too. Scenario planning is a multilevel topic involving individuals, dyads, and teams within and between social performance systems. The established limitations in current SP theory and human resource development (HRD) theory building can be addressed by examining the topic of SP through a multilevel lens. Based on the SP and HRD interests, the threefold purpose of this study is to develop an interpretive multilevel theory of SP as a means of strengthening the theoretical connection between SP and HRD, advancing HRD theory building, and contributing to meaningful SP theory building. A new MLTB framework is developed and subsequently used to develop a multilevel theory of SP. Finally, future research options are suggested in order to make the appropriate SP interpretive multilevel theory refinements, continue the dialogue about MLTB and multilevel considerations in HRD.
SubjectAn interpretive, multilevel theory building (MLTB) methodology was used in this study
interpretive, multilevel theory
This study advances scenario planning theory building
Matlock, James 1958- (2012). An Interpretive, Multilevel Theory of Scenario Planning: Advancing Human Resource Development Theory Building. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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