Researching the Future: Method or Madness?

This paper examines the methodological issues behind futures studies, questioning whether it is possible to claim a futures study as methodologically ‘sound’, and critiquing how futures methodology fits within the methodological paradigms currently recognised in the research field. The extent to which futures methodology can be considered a paradigm in its own right is also examined as are the assumptive foundations of futures studies. While all the evidence raises many questions as to the form of futures methodology, the lack of clarity does not make a futures study invalid or unreliable, and hence sensemaking from the chaos of futures ‘data’ does ensure that futures studies can be based on method rather than madness.

Blass, E. (2003) Researching the Future: Method or Madness?, Futures, Vol. 35, No. 10, pp 1041-1054.

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