Research Methods in Service Innovation
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Research Methods in Service Innovation

Edited by Flemming Sørensen and Francesco Lapenta

Research Methods in Service Innovation provides an essential methodological toolbox for researchers, students and practitioners interested in better understanding innovation and improving innovation processes in service organisations. Each chapter presents a specific method, introduces its theoretical foundations, explains its practical application, and provides examples and suggestions for its implementation.
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Chapter 9: Using technology-oriented scenario analysis for innovation research

Francesco Lapenta


This chapter describes how methods and theories developing within the field of future-oriented technology analysis can be implemented in technology- dependent innovation and research practices. It focuses on and defines one such method – technology-oriented scenario analysis, and departs from the premise that technology and information technologies have become structural drivers of change, and the awareness that any medium- or long-term innovation plan cannot exclude reflections about probable and possible future technological developments. The chapter presents combined theoretical and methodological models that explain the theoretical premises of contemporary methods based on future foresight and future forecast (ranging from traditional expert knowledge and speculative foresight to contemporary “algorithmic predictive computing” and artificial intelligence-based analysis of big data). It argues that technology forecast and foresight methods should be understood as new, necessary, and dynamic processes of organizational intelligence, designed to activate key and dependent actors to participate in a constant innovation process inspired by, and aware of, these possible future technological scenarios. The chapter details the steps involved in technology-oriented scenario analysis, and describes how this method can be implemented and used by businesses or other institutional entities to prepare, or contribute towards shaping, these possible future scenarios.

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