Gestão & Produção
versão impressa ISSN 0104-530X
SCHENATTO, Fernando José Avancini; POLACINSKI, Édio; ABREU, Aline França de e ABREU, Pedro Felipe de. Critical analysis of future studies: an approach based on history and concepts of the topic. Gest. Prod. [online]. 2011, vol.18, n.4, pp. 739-754. ISSN 0104-530X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-530X2011000400005.
Expanding mental models in order for future conditions to be interpreted and shaped more efficiently is a constant strategic challenge for social, economic, political, and institutional agents. Accordingly, this article discusses the concepts related to future studies and their historical trajectory by presenting the various classifications and approaches found in the literature characterizing their relations and theoretical gaps. Therefore, using the principles of the dialectical method, a descriptive theoretical study was conducted using literature review as the research method. This study presents a characterization of the concepts found in the studies investigated that are considered benchmark creating a timeline. Through a comparative analysis of the terms found, the focus was developing a conceptual framework suitable for the Brazilian scientific scenario concerning future studies. It was concluded that this is not a recent topic, and the existing concepts/classifications have received several contributions updating and expanding its specifications and operational complexities, since the 1950's. The originally generic approach has been replaced with more specific visions related to individual methods of investigation and future building achieving greater relevance, consistency, and replicability. The adoption of a certain classification (and its methods) must result from a historical and cultural identity with the context of application. It is believed that this research contributes to avoiding and or clearing theoretical misunderstandings, conceptual errors, or broad and indiscriminate use of synonymous concepts, which are sometimes found in the literature, presenting opportunities for future studies technical development.
Palavras-chave : Future studies; Prospective; Foresight; Forecast; Future scenarios.