Title: How to create and sustain an open and radical innovation capability in the fuzzy front end: the case of Vodafone Group R&D Germany and selected ongoing radical innovation projects

Authors: Christian Stuer, Stefan Husig, Stefanie Biala

Addresses: University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany. ' University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany. ' Vodafone Group R&D Germany, Chiemgaustrasse 116, 81549 Munich, Germany

Abstract: Research has increasingly addressed the question of which capabilities are required to manage Radical Innovation (RI), but so far, a common framework is missing. This paper develops an improved theoretical framework that enhances the existing literature and integrates the Open Innovation (OI) concept to support processes through accelerated learning, access to new capabilities and the creation of new markets. In a case study approach, we apply our framework to the German part of the Research and Development (R&D) unit of Vodafone Group R&D (VF Group R&D.DE). Analysing their RI capabilities in the fuzzy front end, we identified a new type of transdisciplinary exchange that integrates art and design in the RI process. Through cooperation with artists and designers, VF Group R&D.DE creates a transdisciplinary environment that influences the processes of idea creation and opportunity recognition, as well as the approaches to reduce uncertainties. In conclusion, management implications are derived from the theoretical findings.

Keywords: radical innovation; open innovation; fuzzy front end; transdisciplinary exchange; art; design; innovation capability; Vodafone Group; product development; idea creation; opportunity recognition; uncertainty reduction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2010.033958

International Journal of Product Development, 2010 Vol.11 No.3/4, pp.196 - 219

Published online: 05 Jul 2010 *

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