Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategic Foresight: How Entrepreneurs Engage the Future As Opportunity

30 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2018

See all articles by Arran Denis Brown

Arran Denis Brown

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brian Barnard

University of the Witwatersrand - Wits Business School

Date Written: December 4, 2018

Abstract

This study investigates how entrepreneurs and innovators engage the future, and it reflects on how strategic foresight (also called futures studies) can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. The literature emphasizes the importance of planning for the future, but not much attention has been given to how entrepreneurs view, forecast and incorporate the future, and how this influences their innovation and creativity.

The study found that entrepreneurs are disconnected from the future, and do not take it seriously. The future is mostly left to unfold, and it appears as a surprise. Entrepreneurs use simple methods to engage the future, and their understanding of it is vague. There is a lack of leadership and coordination around the future, and very little intervention around the future.

Entrepreneurs recognize a general connection between the future and innovation, but they fail to see the relationship between innovation and futures studies. Futures studies are central to innovation, especially radical innovation, but entrepreneurs do not exploit it. Incremental innovation is predominant, and this leads to the conclusion that entrepreneurship is dysfunctional, to the extent that radical innovation is an important part of entrepreneurship and futures shaping. The study essentially surfaces a number of obscure philosophical positions regarding the relationship between entrepreneurship, innovation and the future.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, innovation, strategic foresight, futures studies, futures leadership

Suggested Citation

Brown, Arran Denis and Barnard, Brian, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategic Foresight: How Entrepreneurs Engage the Future As Opportunity (December 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3295996 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3295996

Arran Denis Brown

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brian Barnard (Contact Author)

University of the Witwatersrand - Wits Business School ( email )

Johannesburg
South Africa

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