Scenarios as a Scholarly Methodology to Produce 'Interesting Research'
Rafael Ramirez, Malobi Mukherjee, Simona Vezzoli, Arnoldo Matus Kramer
Recent debates identified the insufficient production of “interesting research”, namely research that is innovative and develops theory while being both usable and rigorous. We propose that scenarios methodology as a scholarly form of inquiry is one way in which we can generate “interesting research”. We present and compare how this methodology was used to investigate three research studies: (i) the unfolding of retailing formats in India; (ii) the evolution of migration patterns in Europe and the Mediterranean; and (iii) climate change and regional and urban planning in the Tulum region of the Peninsula of Yucatán. We found that when scenarios are used as a scholarly methodology involving iterations and revisions, they help to challenge existing assumptions, identify novel lines of inquiry, and enable new research opportunities to emerge,—thus opening up a research mode that helps engaged scholars to make sense of and address complex and uncertain contexts and produce interesting findings.