Open Foresight: The Influence of Organizational Context

13 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2018

See all articles by Melanie Wiener

Melanie Wiener

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Date Written: March 2018


Open foresight (OF)—a new approach for companies to jointly look into the future—is a response to the limitations of traditional corporate foresight. In an OF process, the companies involved share their understanding and interpretation of future developments. This reduces their uncertainty about the future and helps the companies design and assess development trajectories toward the future, including scenarios, action plans, and innovation ideas. First suggested as a new approach around 2006, OF is still surrounded by many questions. One of these questions concerns the organizational settings needed to enhance the success of OF. This paper focuses on three elements. First, organizational culture has been found to be critical for successful corporate foresight, but no clear evidence on the design of a "foresight‐friendly" culture has so far been presented. Furthermore, top management involvement and commitment has been widely reported as one of the factors of success in innovation processes. What role top management plays in OF has not yet been researched. Finally, OF is a creative process conducted by a team in which all companies involved are represented. In the innovation literature, ample evidence can be found on the importance of team heterogeneity for creativity, but does the same hold for OF processes? Based on an explorative in‐depth case study of an OF process, tentative theory is formulated in the form of four propositions for further research: OF (1) is enhanced by a culture with strong adhocracy and medium weight clan values, (2) requires top management commitment, and (3) is best conducted in a team that is heterogeneous in terms of individual diversity, but (4) homogeneous in terms of management levels involved.

Suggested Citation

Wiener, Melanie, Open Foresight: The Influence of Organizational Context (March 2018). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 27, Issue 1, pp. 56-68, 2018. Available at SSRN: or

Melanie Wiener (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University Linz ( email )

Altenbergerstr. 69
A-4040 Linz, Uper Austria 4040

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