Rafael Ramirez’s main research interests include scenario planning and futures, business innovation, futures and aesthetics. Under these main research arms his expertise covers; scenario planning, business service design, value co-production, organisational aesthetics, beauty and organisational architecture, futures and business innovation.
Scenario Planning and Futures
‘Work in progress’ here is multifaceted. One ongoing project explores how relating scenario planning with early warning systems can provide companies with difficult-to-copy co-specialisation dynamic capabilities to help focus top management attention. The research is based on two longitudinal case studies of Nokia and Statoil.
Another paper under development explores the objectivity and subjectivity aspects of the environmental turbulence scenarios help to address. A third paper that Ramirez is co-authoring with a colleague delves into methodological conundrums. A fourth one, co-authored with a gifted doctoral student, relates scenario planning with the building of social capital.
2008: Ramirez, R., Selsky, J. & van der Heijden, K (eds): Business Planning in Turbulent Times: New Methods for Applying Scenarios. London: Earthscan.
2010: second edition, paperback (with a preface by Vince Cable): Ramirez, R., Selsky, J. & van der Heijden, K (eds): Business Planning in Turbulent Times: New Methods for Applying Scenarios. London: Earthscan.
A. Wilkinson & R. Ramirez: “Canaries in the Mind: Exploring how the financial crisis impacts 21st century futuremindfulness” Journal of Futures Studies, March 2010, 14(3): 45 – 60
Ramirez, R and Ravetz, J: “Feral Futures: Zen and Aesthetics”. Futures, January 2011 43 (4) pp 478-487
Ramírez, R., Österman, R. and Grönquist, D., “Scenarios and early warnings as dynamic capabilities to frame managerial attention”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, May 2013 80(4), pp. (825-838)
Business and Service Innovation and Design
The majority of corporate R&D facilities separate their MBA qualified business strategists from their scientists and technologists. While both groups are often working towards the goal of innovation, it is common for these two groups to have little, if any, interaction. Rafael’s co-authored research paper outlined the steps Shell managers took to counter this in their attempt to keep innovative after establishing the GameChanger system. The paper outlines how Shell set up an ‘innovation coalition’ by reorganising its portfolio of 85 projects into half-a-dozen ‘domains’. Other papers consider how service innovation involves customers, and how capabilities can be categorised and sold.
Selsky, J. W., Ramırez, R. and Baburoglu, O.N., “Collaborative Capability Design: Redundancy of Potentialities”, Systemic Practice and Action Research, November 2012
Ramirez, R, Roodhart, L. & Manders, W: “How Shell Domains Link Innovation and Strategy,” Long Range Planning, August 2011
Ramirez, R and Mannervik, U; “Customer Value Co-Creation And Co-Innovation” in Involving Customers in New Service Development, E. Gummerson, (ed). 2006, Imperial College Press
Ramirez, R and Mannervik, U; “Designing Value Creating Systems” in Kimbell, L & Seidel, V: Designing for Services - Multidisciplinary Perspectives: Proceedings from the Exploratory Project on Designing for Services in Science and Technology-based Enterprises, Saïd Business School, 2008, University of Oxford.
Ramirez, R and Blois, K: "Capabilities as marketable assets: A proposal for functional categorization," Industrial Marketing Management, 2006 Volume 35, Issue 8, November, Pages 1027-1031
The Aesthetic of Business, Work and Organisation
A chapter of Rafael’s latest book, co-edited with two colleagues, Business Planning for Turbulent Times (London: Earthscan, 2010), examines how aesthetics can give clarity to scenario planning. Ongoing work in organisational aesthetics considers its roles in cooperation, leadership, and how experience shapes it.
Ramirez, R., and Eidinow, E. “The Eye Of The Soul”: Phronesis And The Aesthetics Of Organizing, Organizational Aesthetics 1(1): 26-43
“Scenarios providing clarity to address turbulence” in Business Planning in Turbulent Times: New Methods for Applying Scenarios. Ramirez, R., Selsky, J. & van der Heijden, K (eds 2008, 2010), Earthscan, London
R. Ramirez and N. Arvidsson: “The Aesthetics of Business Innovation: an exploratory distinction of two archetypes” - Innovation: management, policy, and practice, 7.4 (October) 2005
“The Aesthetics of Cooperation,” European Management Review Vol 2, Issue 1 2005. pp 28-35
“L’ esthétique du management”. Hommes et Commerce, Paris Décembre-Janvier 2005, pp 60-61