Prospective collaborative sensemaking for identifying the potential impact of emerging technologies
Sprache des Titels:
Emerging technologies provide new opportunities for organizations but also introduce uncertainty and ambiguity about future developments. One specific risk that firms encounter in the prospective sensemaking process is the failure to adequately judge their potential impact on the organization, if they rely heavily on existing beliefs about the future or the industry. This study explores how opening up the strategy process (through a collaboration of companies from various industries) influences the way actors interpret and make sense of ambiguous and uncertain environments caused by blockchain technology. We recognized that this cross-industry, prospective sensemaking approach played a noticeable role in the way actors interpreted and reflected on technological change. The diversity of perspectives was framed by the participants as conducive to out-of-the-box thinking and to develop new frames and mental models. In various social and discursive processes, new meanings and application possibilities for the own company were developed. Due to the cross-industry approach (without competitors), an open learning climate could evolve, intracompany power struggles were prevented and there was no need to develop a ?common sense?, which facilitated adopting a wide variety of perspectives and thinking in scenarios. Moreover, it was found that skilful facilitators played an important role in initiating and accompanying the sensemaking process.