Scenario thinking: A practice-based approach for the identification of opportunities for innovation
Sarpong, D. and Maclean, M. (2011) Scenario thinking: A practice-based approach for the identification of opportunities for innovation. Futures, 43 (10). pp. 1154-1163. ISSN 0016-3287
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2011.07.013
Drawing on the social theory of practice, this paper ‘unpacks’ scenario thinking in the form of strategizing in product innovation teams to explore when and how the practice may lead to the identification of opportunities for innovation. Adopting a case-based approach, three software companies engaged in four new product development projects served as our empirical research sites. We found creative emergence and open-endedness of the practice in innovation teams serving as quintessentially embedded modalities and contingencies that supports the identification of opportunities for innovation as a potential outcome of scenario thinking. We also suggest a framework that specifies how specific team practices supporting scenario thinking (strategic conversation and humanmaterial interactions, and reflexivity-in-practice) may operate in combination or serially, and which may lead in turn to the identification of opportunities for innovation.
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