Strategic learning, foresight and hyperopia


Mackay D & Burt G (2015) Strategic learning, foresight and hyperopia. Management Learning, 46 (5), pp. 546-564.

Analogous to long-sightedness, hyperopia describes the condition of being able to grasp with acuity matters which are far removed from current experience (temporally, spatially or cognitively) while encountering difficulty in interpreting and acting on that which is close at hand. We examine data from a top management team's activity in which they collectively display a hyperopic approach. A single in-depth field study is analysed retroductively to examine the plausibility of potential causal mechanisms that might explain the emergence of hyperopia. In the case examined, hyperopia appears to emerge from a strategic learning approach that emphasises foresightful learning mechanisms while neglecting experiential learning from direct exposure to operations. To avoid the emergence of pathologies of managerial approaches, such as hyperopia or myopia, practitioners are encouraged to engage with balanced strategic learning mechanisms of varying temporal, spatial and cognitive scope.

Foresight; hyperopia; multi-method; myopia; retroduction; strategic learning; strategy

Management Learning: Volume 46, Issue 5

Publication date30/11/2015
Publication date online04/09/2014
Date accepted by journal04/09/2014