Oil Scenarios for Long-Term Planning: Royal Dutch Shell and Generative Explanation, 1960-2010

41 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2011 Last revised: 1 Nov 2011

Michael Jefferson

London Metropolitan University - Centre for International Business and Sustainability (CIBS)

Vlasios Voudouris

ABM Analytics Ltd

Date Written: October 26, 2011

Abstract

Most executives know that overarching paints of plausible futures will profoundly affect the competitiveness and survival of their organisation. Initially from the perspective of Shell, this article discuses oil scenarios and their relevance for upstream investments. Scenarios are then incorporated into generative explanation and its principal instrument, namely agent-based computational laboratories, as the new standard of explanation of the past and the present and the new way to structure the uncertainties of the future. The key concept is that the future should not be regarded as ‘complicated’ but as ‘complex’, in that there are uncertainties about the driving forces that generate unanticipated futures, which cannot be explored analytically.

Suggested Citation

Jefferson, Michael and Voudouris, Vlasios, Oil Scenarios for Long-Term Planning: Royal Dutch Shell and Generative Explanation, 1960-2010 (October 26, 2011). USAEE Working Paper No. 11-087. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1949943 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1949943

Michael Jefferson

London Metropolitan University - Centre for International Business and Sustainability (CIBS) ( email )

166-220 Holloway Road
London EC3N 2EY, N7 8HN
United Kingdom

Vlasios Voudouris (Contact Author)

ABM Analytics Ltd ( email )

Suite 17 125
145-157 St John Street
London, EC1V 4PW
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.abm-analytics.com/people.php

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