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Strategic Scenarios and Business Models

A Chess Board with Pieces
Radboud University Nijmegen
Master of Science (MSc)
From January 31, 2022 to April 8, 2022
98 students

Course Description

Organizations are confronted with unprecedented levels of turbulence, uncertainty,and complexity while the world we live in becomes even more interconnected, and boundaries between organizations, industries, and public and private lives evanesce. The increasing turbulence, uncertainty and complexity are caused by (1) rapid urbanization, (2) climate change and resource scarcity, (3) shift in global economic power, (4) demographic and social change, and (5) technological breakthroughs. Due to these developments, relationships between organizations, governments, environmentalists, interestgroups, the media, and even illegal groups are experiencing dramatic change. Toensure their competitive advantages organizations,have to renew by revitalizing and transforming their activities and redesign their business models. Moreover, they muststrategically renewal their traditional manner of value generation, the structure of the organization, the core competencies of the organization and the way of creating value through new opportunities.

Not only in turbulent times, but also in good times, organizations have regularly reshaped themselves. Organizations may re-align their organizational structure with strategy and changed external circumstances. Small and rapidly growing organizations will need to reshape, for instance, following a period of sustained growth, however, mature organizations also frequently re-shape themselves toaddress new challenges and seize new opportunities. These interventions might lead to stimulating, specific activities within an organization, to additional drastic restructuring, or even downsizing during challenging times. Strategy, organization design and change issues should be viewed as increasingly intertwined and dynamic. It is evident that we move from a situation of periodical change to one of continuous change. This brings into question the nature of the concepts and instruments developed over the past decades to frame and instrumentalize change.

Hence, managers of these organizations can be challenged to deal with wicked problems and changing business ecosystems andmustmake decisions under increasing complexity and uncertainty. However, traditional business strategy, management and organizational concepts and strategic planning approaches are no longer sufficient for managers to deal with the new challenges and developments. Therefore, these managers need new ideas, (social and product) innovations, concepts,and new managerial approaches. To deal with the mounting complexity and increasing volatility, managers can employ participative (stakeholder engagement) approaches such as open strategy, framing, group model building and strategic scenario development, to accurately make sense ofand respond to changing circumstances. These approaches provide a manager with important tools to support organizations to understand and develop shared framing, to provide a series of narratives of the future and an early-warning system, to support cultural change through organizational alignment and stakeholder engagement, and if needed to develop a sustainable business (eco system) model.

Learning Goals

Knowledge and understanding

  • To better understand the concept of strategic renewal of (public and private) organizations and the concept of wicked problems, transformation, business models and business ecosystems, and to be able to identify and classify the components of wicked problems, uncertainty, scenarios, transformation, business models and business ecosystems.
  • Understanding theshifting power relations in digital and sustainability transitions from a multi-actor perspective.
  • Understandingthe various participative stakeholder engagement approaches that can be used by organizations, where each has its supporters and detractors.

Applying knowledge and understanding

  • Be able to create a broader field of vision, gained by introducing alternative views and new processes, and be ,and opportunities that could be excluded by a traditional view on (strategic) planning processes and doing business of organizationsoperating in sectors that are involved in transition.

Making judgements

  • Be able to create a better and more impactful understanding of both the present world and the future world, gained through the process of experiencing the present and future through participative stakeholder (engagement) approaches.


  • Be able to create a more robust (strategic) planning process that provides better strategic options, enables more thorough contingency (strategic) planning, and empowers an organization to react quickly and to execute these plans.

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