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Forecasting and Management of Technology, Second Edition by Frederick A. Rossini, Scott W. Cunningham, Jerry Banks, Alan L. Porter, Alan Thomas Roper, Thomas W. Mason

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3.2 Planning the Technology Forecast

Technology forecasting projects in some ways are similar to the processes used to design new technologies. However, only on rare occasions can forecasters adapt existing information to their organization's purpose. More often, they must adopt a problem-solving perspective, adapting methods or recombining information to serve new purposes. The forecasting process, like the engineering process, is iterative. Decisions made at one stage may affect choices made later. Like the design process, the technology forecasting project may need to broker diverging interests within an organization. The structure of new technology, and the design of the organizations that create new technologies, are often complexly interlinked (De Sanctis and Poole 1994).

This book proposes that technology forecasting typically involves a three-phase approach, which this book characterizes as cold, warm, and hot. The names given to the phases differ from author to author. Ben Martin (1995) recasts technology forecasting as foresight, a use of the word that encompasses the broader issues and context of the TDS model used in this book. The fact that foresight refers to technology forecasting in this broad sense is supported by Ruff (2004, p. 44), who notes that “technology foresight has evolved from an earlier narrow focus on technology forecasts to a broader definition, which takes political, economic and societal factors and their interactions into consideration.” While Martin ...

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