An example of such a chart is shown in figure. Such a chart creates an orderly structure for the paperless discussion of issues, ranging from an introspective focus to a focus on the entire world. The levels should be arranged so that all issues confronting the institution can be identified as having their focus at one of the levels. The vertical dimensions of the chart are the areas of concern to the university. Although they will necessarily vary from time to time, the issues include students, research, finances, technological change, legislative/ regulatory change, social values, and more. The relative importance of each of the intercepts of the horizontal and vertical axes can be evaluated using the delphi process described in "Forecasting." For the most important areas-usually about 10-to 12-the next step is to identify specific resources to be scanned. An area that is ranked as among the most important but without acceptable scanning resources may require some additional research. All members of the scanning committee should become more aware of their ongoing passive scanning.
This process involves deciding what "blinders" the committee will wear. It is obviously better to err on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion at this point, yet the amount of material committee members can (or will) scan is clearly limited. The decisions made at this point will determine for the most part the kind, content, and volume of information presented to the scanning committee and will ultimately determine its value to the institution. This question deserves substantial attention. Because of the limitations of various resources, scanning must be limited to those twist resources reporting issues that have a primary or major impact on an institution, whether the issues originate in the external world or not. A college or university must anticipate, respond to, and participate in public issues-issues for which it may not be the principal organization affected but for which it nevertheless has an important responsibility to anticipate. It is useful, then, to formally structure the discussion of issues and their relative position to each other.
With this list of categories and a list of the publications and other resources already being scanned, the committee can identify the categories for which assigned scanning is necessary. At this point, the kind of resource takes on importance. For example, "alcoholism" may be an issue selected for scanning but one for which no current resource can be identified. For this issue, generic and secondary resources may be sufficient-newspapers, national weekly magazines, or other resources in 'he passive scanning network. Nevertheless, the resources designated for this issue and their designated scanners should be identified. Of course, a particular publication or resource may cover more than a single category, and it may take several publications to cover a single issue adequately. Determining which materials to scan is an extremely important and difficult task.
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One method that meets these criteria is to use a questionnaire based on an existing issues taxonomy. Sears roebuck, for example, has over 35 major categories in its scanning system, alcoa uses a taxonomy with presentation over 150 categories, and the. Congress organizes its pending legislation into over 200 categories. Such a list can be used good as the basis of a questionnaire that asks respondents to rate the relative importance of each category and expand categories that may be of particular importance to the institution. For example, under the category of higher education, the committee may want to add subcategories concerning issues of tenure and the academic marketplace, among others.
Alternatively, the committee may want to develop its own taxonomy. Although using a detailed taxonomy like the one congress uses helps to ensure thoroughness and although an organized system can be adapted to new issues as additional categories are opened, the advantage of starting with only four categories is simplicity. When the questionnaire is complete, the categories named most frequently should be selected for scanning. That number is determined by the size of the committee; experience indicates that a 10- to 12-member committee can handle no more than 25 to 40 assigned categories for scanning, with each member having responsibility for two or three categories and the relevant sources. The list of categories then becomes the subject index of the scanning files.
All of them attempt to satisfy several conflicting objectives. First, the taxonomy must be complete in that every possible development identified in the scanning has a logical place to be classified. Second, every such development should have only one place in the file system. Third, the total number of categories in the system must be small enough to be readily usable but detailed enough to separate different issues. The concepts developed from technology assessment in the mid- 1970s provide an elementary taxonomy consisting of four categories: (1) social, (2) technological, (3) economic, and (4) legislative/regulatory. The taxonomy at the University of Minnesota, for example, includes five areas richard.
Heydinger 1984, personal communication). The political area includes the changing composition and milieu of governmental bodies, with emphasis at the federal and state levels. The economic area identifies trends related to the national and regional economy, including projections of economic health, inflation rates, money supply, and investment returns. The social lifestyle area focuses on trends relating to changing individual values and their impact on families, job preferences, consumer decisions, and educational choices, and the relationship of changing career patterns and leisure activities to educational choices. The technological area includes changing technologies that can influence the workplace, the home, leisure activities, and education. The demographic manpower area includes the changing mix of population and resulting population momentum, including age cohorts, racial and gender mix for the region, the region's manpower needs, and the implications for curricula and needed research. To develop a more specialized taxonomy, the scanning committee should focus on the issues of greatest concern to the institution. The committee can use any method it chooses to select these categories-brainstorming, questionnaires, meetings, for example. Whatever method is used, it should be thorough, democratic, and, to the extent possible, anonymous (so that results are not judged on the basis of personalities).
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Usu ally this scanning continues until the items are located, not necessarily until the resources are exhausted. For example, if a member of the scanning committee knows that a good analysis of an issue was in a particularjournal some time last year, he could examine the table of contents of all volumes of the journal to locate the article. As the specific desired item is known and the resource can be specified, the scanning committee can delegate whatever directed scanning is necessary. Scanning for the institution, to anticipate the changing conditions of its external environment, the institution needs both active and passive scanning of general and selected continuing information resources. The results of this process-in the form of clippings or photocopies of articles-will be reported to the scanning committee for evaluation. The chair of the committee (or its staff, if any) compiles the incoming clippings to prepare for the discussion of new issues at the committee's next regular meeting. In performing this task, the chair looks for reinforcing signals, for coincident paperless items (each of which may have sufficient importance only if both happen for items that may call for active or directed scans of new or different resources, and for information about the interesting. Developing a scanning taxonomy. Any number of taxonomies and mechanisms have been used to structure the scanning process.
Thus, the interesting future is comprised primarily of those developments that are ( 1) highly uncertain, (2) important if they do or do not happen, and gray (3) responsive to current policy options. A second dimension of scanning concerns the time element of the information source being scanned. Information sources are either already existing resources, such as "the literature or continuing resources, which continue to come in, such as a magazine subscription. Passive scanning uses all continuing resources-conversations at home, television and radio programs, conferences, meetings, memos, notes, and all other incoming information. Passive scanning rarely involves the use of existing resources. Active scanning involves the conscious selection of continuous resources and, from time to time, supplementing them with existing resources as needed. For example, an item resulting from scanning continuing resources may require the directed scanning of an existing resource to develop the necessary background, context, or history to support the determination of an appropriate response. The active scanning of a selected existing resource for specific items is directed s(-anning.
to 100 years may be a more realistic minimum. For financial issues, the interesting future may be the next several budget cycles-just two or three years. For a new federal regulatory requirement that may be imposed next year, the interesting future runs from now until then. The interesting future is bounded by a measure of the uncertainty that a particular issue might actually materialize. Developments that are virtually certain either to happen or not happen are of little interest in scanning, because they involve little uncertainty. If the institution has little ability to affect these more or less certain happenings, they should be referred to the appropriate department for inclusion in its planning assumptions. The aging of the baby boom, for example, is certain to happen and should be factored into the current strategic planning process. A potential new impact of the baby boom that may or may not happen-such as growing competition within the medical care system for federal resources-should be forwarded to the scanning committee for evaluation of both its probability and its importance.
The criteria of screening for signals of emerging issues must be broad to ensure completeness, strange and they usually focus on certain questions: Is this item presently or potentially relevant to the institution's current or planned operations? Is the relationship between the likelihood and potential impact of the item sufficient to justify notifying the scanning committee? For example, a major renewal of central cities in the United States accompanied by high rates of inward migration might have tremendous impact on the educational system but just be too unlikely in the foreseeable future to warrant inclusion in the scanning process. It is not part of the institution's current "interesting future which is a very small part of the whole future. The interesting future is bounded by the human limitations of time, knowledge, and resources; it represents only that part of the future for which it is practical to plan or take actions now or in the foreseeable future. For almost all issues, this interesting future is bounded in time by the next three or four decades at the most, although most issues will fall in the period of the next 20 years. This time frame is defined as that period in which the major timely and practical policy options should, if planned or adopted now, begin to have significant impact. The issues-policy-response time frame depends on the cycle time of the issue.
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Passive scanning has traditionally been a major source of information about the external world for most wallpaper decision-makers and hence for their organizations. The external environment has historically been a subject of some interest to most people, requiring at least passive scanning at fluency in current or emerging issues. The pace of change some level for the maintenance of one's chosen level of in the external environment has moved this scanning from an element of good citizenship to a professional requirement-from a low-level personal interest satisfied by passive scanning to a high-level professional responsibility. The components of active scanning are quite different from those of passive scanning. For example, the searching or screening process requires a much higher level of attention. The information resources scanned are specifically selected for their known or expected richness in the desired information. These resources may include some, but usually not all, of the regular incoming resources of passive scanning. Thus, a member of the scanning committee would not actively scan magazines about sailing for emerging issues of potential importance to the university. This is not to say that such issues will never appear in this literature but that passive scanning is sufficient to pick up any that.