Inderscience Publishers

The construction of scenarios: lessons learned at a Brazilian nuclear and energy research institute

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The development of strategic planning in an organisation often involves complexity and uncertainty. In an organisation with a mission to generate knowledge in multiple disciplines, it can be even more complex. One appropriate technique to support the planning process in the mid- and long-term is the construction of scenarios. Extensive as the literature on scenario techniques may be, what can be observed is that tacit technique application aspects are practically not touched. Moreover, as scenario planning is a relatively recent technique amongst Brazilian research institutes, it has not yet been thoroughly researched. The present article presents a summary of four methods of the construction of scenarios and reports in detail the experience acquired in the construction of scenarios conducted by the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN) within the strategic planning cycles of 2002 and 2006. At the end of the article a critical analysis of the two experiments is presented, together with recommendations so that other research institutes would be able to make similar efforts based on the case presented.

Keywords: scenario planning, research institutes, nuclear knowledge management, tacit knowledge, Brazil, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear knowledge management, nuclear education, strategic planning, energy research

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