A critical evaluation of general morphological analysis as a future study methodology for strategic planning
By: Simon John Swanich
Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/43989 November 10, 2014
To achieve optimum results business leaders need to focus substantial resources towards developing a long term business strategy. However through a constantly changing business environment, leaders have to continuously review and adapt this strategy to meet new demands and challenges. Regulatory change has a major impact on business, as regulation serves as the convergence touch point between business and government, and this dimension has been identified as the number one contributor to business uncertainty. To meet this challenge business needs foresight and a knowledge of the future in uncertain times best achieved through the undertaking of future studies. There are many methodologies to undertake a future study, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. General morphological analysis was identified as a method which through its specification and design is an ideal candidate through which the complex and uncertain regulatory future could be thoroughly investigated. This studies aims to critically evaluate the robustness and appropriateness of general morphological analysis as an aid in strategic design when dealing with regulation, regulatory change and regulatory uncertain. The methodology was thoroughly evaluated through the undertaking of a general morphological analysis of the airline industry. Through interviews with airline c-suite executives and senior consultants to the industry, dimensions affecting airline future states were identified. Through this process a likely future for the airline industry relating to the regulatory environment was described, specifically highlighting ownership and route access as dimensions of primary impact and uncertainty. This report was presented to the airline executives and consultants who assessed the report to evaluate the methodology. 83% of the executive and consultant feedback found that the report produced using general morphological analysis would be accurate. Further they found that through the process; strong, in-depth and thorough insight was uncovered. Two thirds of the expert respondents stated that they would now consider utilising general morphological analysis in their organisation as a strategy planning tool going forward.