A Comparative Study of the Methodological Typology of Futures Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Corresponding author:PhD in Futures Studies,, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin Iran

2 ّFull professor at the Department of Futures study, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran.


Futures study is a new field of science which has involved a diversity of methods, due to its short life span, interdisciplinary feature, applicability, and relation to future, and has led to confusion for future researchers in the selection of a proper method. Scholars have made great efforts to regulate the methods and the methodology of this field, including the “inductive typology” of futures study. In this method, typological attempts are presented to provide a functional classification of methods by reviewing hundreds of future studies through future lookouts. However, no serious attempt has been undertaken in comparative studies to provide a comprehensive picture of the typology of futures study methods, and it seems that it lacks a convergent typological and classification in the futures study methods. This study is aimed at providing a comparative and simultaneous review of the methodology of future study in order to provide a comprehensive and integrated view of all typological methods. To do so, different typologies were identified and the researchers classified them into several macro criteria through comparative study. Finally, the researchers analyzed all the typological criteria from four perspectives and found out that these methods can be categorized from four perspectives: the nature of the method, process of the method, purpose of the method, and the capability of the method. This research can be regarded as an introduction to a comprehensive typology of futures study methods.


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