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Dissertation Abstract

Evaluation of the Dian Scales as a Foresight Measure

Judson Emmett Gary III
December 2008

This study examined whether there is sufficient theoretical and empirical support for Dian's (2003) six personal styles of foresight, identified as Futurist, Activist, Opportunist, Flexist, Equilibrist, and Reactionist. Support is examined from both the diffusion of innovations and temporal perspective literature. Dian's Foresight Styles Assessment (FSA) was examined through factor analysis using orthogonal rotation from a development sample of 3,154 knowledge workers. Principal components analysis resulted in a four factor solution of Framer, Adapter, Tester, and Reactor, and when taken together explained 41.72% of the variance with scale reliability ranging from .66 to .89. The first and last factors partially fit Dian's original conceptualization. The second factor, Adapter, matched extensive research into change-oriented leadership, while the third factor, Tester, bore resemblance to temporal innovativeness in consumer research. Item analysis eliminated 19 questions from the FSA that had relatively lower correlations with items in their set. Based upon results, the refined 26-item FSA is a valid and reliable instrument with construct validity. Its usefulness, limitations, and future development are discussed in the context of developing a leadership theory of strategic foresight.