Methods of prospective

Softwares Methods of prospective


Analyze actors' games

Developed in 1989-1990 by François Bourse and Michel Godet, was first used on air transportation problems




The Mactor method of analyzing actors' games seeks to gauge the balance of power between actors and study their convergences and divergences when faced with a certain number of associated stakes and objectives.


By means of this analysis, the Mactor method aims to assist in making decisions so that actors can implement their alliances and conflicts policies.

Description of the method


The method has five phases:


  • Phase 1  : Define the actors and understand their strategy
  • Phase 2  : Analyze the influences among actors and evaluate the balance of power     MIDI matrix
  • Phase 3 : Identify the strategic stakes and associated goals and position each actor according to each objective (MAO Matrix)
  • Phase 4 : Pinpoint convergences/divergences (simple positions);
  • Phase 5 : Formulate coherent strategic recommendations and ask key questions for the future


Usefulness and limitations


One advantage of the Mactor method is that it works for a wide range of strategies involving several actors using a series of stakes and associated objectives. In this, it is different from research coming from game theory which often results in the construction of models which can be applied but are not applicable. Nevertheless, significant progress may be made through a closer relationship between the concepts of game theory and the Mactor method.


The Mactor method contains a certain number of limitations concerning the gathering of necessary information. A certain reticence on the part of the actors may be observed when they are asked to reveal their strategic projects and external means of action. There is the insurmountable element of confidentiality (one can nevertheless cross-check the data). Furthermore, representing an actor game on the basis of this method presupposes consistent behaviour on the part of each actor in relation to the outcome, which is often contradicted in reality. In terms of tools, Mactor software currently requires only two tables of data from which several pages of result listing and diagrams can be obtained. Yet, this is the main danger that lies in wait for Mactor’s users seduced, even carried away by the tide of results and comments generated, they forget that everthing depends on the quality of the input data as well as the ability to pick out the most relevant results.

Practical conclusions


At a practical level, the time it takes to analyse an actor's game in the Mactor method (2 to 5 months) is generally shorter than it is required for a structural analysis. The time needed for gathering and checking the information and then analysing it, however, must not be underestimated. Althought the Mactor method fits into the scenario method, it can also be used on its own, either for prospective purposes or for the analysis of a given strategic situation.





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