The future- predictable or otherwise

Date of publication: September 1, 1998


The thesis of this paper is that senior executives in most companies (if the major pharmaceutical companies are a fair indicator of corporate management) have little incentive to anticipate the long term let alone act upon it. Any paralysis toward worrisome prognostications about the future is compounded by the fact that junior executives in these companies find it hard and sometimes even career-threatening to advise their senior officers of their very real concerns. This paper tackles a few forbidden questions: Does an industry want to know the future? Does everyone in a company have the same interest in the future? How should researchers present the future when it contradicts ‘conventional wisdom’?

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