The Uncertainty Challenge: Bridging Distant Industries and Research in the Fuzzy Front-End of Innovation
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
R&D Management Conference 2019
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
The front-end of innovation can be described as ?fuzzy? because managers are confronted with high levels of uncertainty. To reduce this uncertainty is one key objective in the innovation process. Specifically, openness in the fuzzy front-end might increase the potential for successful innovations as it potentially reduces the level of uncertainty as well as it increases the level of knowledge at that stage. In this study, a special form of openness - a cross-industry collaboration with partners outside the own value chain and with research partners - is examined. The objective of this study is to analyze whether this cross-industry collaboration can help to reduce uncertainty or whether the diversity of companies tends to hinder knowledge generation. This qualitative study shows insights into an open-foresight project in which seven organizations from different industries have participated to discuss and to identify the potentials of the blockchain-technology in terms of future innovations based on this technology. Analyzed qualitative data shows that openness and the cross-industry characteristics of this project have reduced the level of uncertainty and made it easier for participating organizations to engage in a strategic decision on how to deal with the phenomenon of the blockchain-technology in the future. The diversity of the participating organizations was emphasized as a particular advantage in terms of knowledge sharing, the development of new knowledge and the reduction of uncertainty. Particular emphasis was placed on the diversity of input, the possibility to generate completely different new ideas, the common development of new knowledge regarding blockchain, and the ?out-of-the-box-thinking?. However, some of the participants argued that at the later stage of the innovation process, it is more important to focus on the specific organization and discuss issues with members who have the knowledge and a deep understanding of their own organization.