…is a research associate and PhD candidate at the Institute of Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany. Her research focuses on the areas of open innovation and open foresight, where she investigates the external search for future discontinuities and trends by utilizing distributed knowledge sources such as users, supply chain partners or universities in the firm context. Before starting her PhD, she studied Business Information Systems at Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany and University of Warwick, UK. Since 2013, Mrs. Polier works as a business consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she was engaged in IT-related projects in various industries such as telecommunications, IT, and healthcare. As part of her consulting work she focused on projects in the area of digitization, innovation and large-scale transformations.Projects + Projects -
External Search for Exploration of Future Discontinuities and Trends
In today’s dynamic environment competitive advantage is largely driven by a firm’s ability to constantly adapt to change by identifying new market opportunities and product innovations. Paying attention to early signs of environmental discontinuities and trends enables firms to identify potential future developments early on and to adjust their strategic direction accordingly. To achieve this, firms need to develop a foresight capability to understand potential future states and to draw implications for their future direction. Insights gained from foresight activities enhance a firm’s innovation capability by exploring new business areas and creating new product ideas. However, detecting early signs of future discontinuities and trends is challenging since they often originate outside a firm’s area of expertise. Hence, it is important for firms to utilize external knowledge sources to broaden their knowledge base and to reduce the risk of ‘blind spots’.
According to the behavioral theory of the firm, firms conduct external search by spanning organizational boundaries to move beyond local search. While the use of external knowledge has always been an important part of foresight, it has recently been reinforced by adopting insights from the open and user innovation literature. Given the long-term orientation and uncertainty of foresight activities, the search for future discontinuities and trends may require different search strategies as opposed to the search for innovations. Results from a holistic literature analysis in the field of external search behavior reveal that research on external search for discontinuities and trends is so far underrepresented in this area. The further research interest thus lies in investigating how firms need to shape their external search strategies in order to be able to detect future developments early on.
Study Report "Open Foresight as a Driver for Innovation"
Report on a quantitative study on leveraging external knowledge sources to explore future developments in companies with a focus on practically relevant results
Research Project Open Foresight
Publications + Publications -
Heuschneider, S., Herstatt, C., 2016. External Search for Exploration of Future Discontinuities and Trends: Implications from the Literature Using Co-Citation and Content Analysis. Technology and Innovations Management Working Paper No. 92, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg.
Working Paper 92
Ehls, D., Korreck, S., Jahn, R., Zeng, M., Heuschneider, S., Herstatt, C., Koller, H., Spaeth, S., 2016. Open Foresight: Exploiting Information from External Sources. Working Paper, Hamburg.
Heuschneider, S., Ehls, D., Herstatt, C., 2017: The Field of External Search and the Search for External Knowledge: A Co-Citation Analysis, 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM), Atlanta, GA, USA, August, 4-8.
Heuschneider, S., Ehls, D., Herstatt, C., 2017: The Field of External Search and the Search for External Knowledge, 15th International Open and User Innovation (OUI) Conference, Innsbruck, Austria, July, 10-12.
Heuschneider, S., Herstatt, C., 2016: External Search for Exploration of Future Discontinuities and Trends as a Driver for Innovation: A Co-Citation and Content analysis, 14th International Open and User Innovation (OUI) Conference, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, USA, August, 1-3.