René Rohrbeck

René Rohrbeck
Edhec Business school · Management & Strategy

Dr. rer. oec.

About

82
Publications
180,106
Reads
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2,853
Citations
Introduction
René Rohrbeck is Professor of Strategy and director of the chair for Foresight, Innovation and Transformation at the EDHEC Business School, France. In his research he develops methods for participatory foresight, scenario-based strategizing and conducts regular benchmarking studies on the Future FITness of organizations.
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - present
Aarhus University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2011 - August 2014
Aarhus University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Position
  • Corporate Foresight
Education
January 2006 - April 2010
Technische Universität Berlin
Field of study
  • Technology and Innovation Management

Publications

Publications (82)
Article
Full-text available
For over 40 years, scenarios have been promoted as a key technique for forming strategies in uncertain environments. However, many challenges remain. In this article, we discuss a novel approach designed to increase the applicability of scenario-based strategizing in top management teams. Drawing on behavioural strategy as a theoretical lens, we de...
Article
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We examine to what extent successful business-development activities in uncertain environments can be classified as corporate foresight (CF) and to what extent they have been intentional and systematic. Beginning with identifying successful cases of new-business development in Bottom of the Pyramid markets, we use various data sources to reconstruc...
Article
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The goal of this introductory article to the Special Issue on Corporate Foresight is to provide an overview of the state of the art, major challenges and to identify development trajectories. We define corporate foresight as a practice that permits an organization to lay the foundation for a future competitive advantage. Historically we distinguish...
Article
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Corporate foresight is applied with the expectation that it will help firms to break away from path dependency, help decision makers to define superior courses of action, and ultimately enable superior firm performance. To empirically test this assumption, we developed a model that judges a firm's future preparedness (FP) by assessing the need for...
Article
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Future Preparedness is shown to be a factor strongly influencing mid-term future firm performance, and such preparedness can be achieved via the systematic application of future preparation activities, particularly Perceiving, Prospecting, and Probing, as part of the strategic leadership function.
Article
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Strategic foresight activities in both research and practice aim to identify superior courses of action in situations of future uncertainty and change. While the field has existed for more than 70 years and has its own concepts and methodologies, over time it has incorporated and used many of the theories and methods found in cognate fields, partic...
Article
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Wenn Apple mit Produkten wie der Apple Watch 50 % des globalen Marktes für Smart Watches oder Vorwerk mit dem Thermomix eine eigene Produktkategorie etabliert, ist das kein Zufallsprodukt. Die Fähigkeit neue Märkte zu kreieren und systematisch Innovationen in neuen Produktkategorien zu entwickeln ist selten, aber erlernbar. Vereinfacht gesagt, ist...
Article
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The dynamic capabilities perspective is aimed at explaining how firms achieve and sustain competitive advantages, especially in environments that become volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). In this paper, we combine factors that explain dynamic capabilities on the firm level with factors of dynamic managerial capabilities on the indi...
Article
This paper proposes a development model that can help create, shape, and promote more innovative vertical industries. It explores success criteria and highlights lessons learned from four vertical industry development cases. Innovation is key for developing countries to overcome the middle income trap. Yet, traditional mechanisms to develop nation...
Article
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On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Technology Forecasting & Social Change, we review the evolution of corporate and organizational foresight within the journal and look ahead to the coming decade. We apply a systematic literature review process to identify the major contributions in this area of foresight theory and practice covering five d...
Article
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In an era of relentless change, many organisations are ill-prepared to make strategic decisions and deliver at pace. Based on more than a decade of research, this paper shows that driving desirable futures requires an integrated set of practices for detecting, sensing and acting on change in a manner that is aligned to the rate of change in the env...
Article
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Design thinking is inherently and invariably oriented towards the future in that all design is for products, services or events that will exist in the future, and be used by people in the future. This creates an overlap between the domains of design thinking and strategic foresight. A small but significant literature has grown up in the strategic f...
Article
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We discuss our lessons from 8 years of teaching business model innovation to executives in our part-time MBA program. We examine how strategic foresight tools are particularly useful to help students to overcome cognitive bounds that inhibit business model innovation and discuss the considerations of using student-owned live cases.
Conference Paper
Design thinking has grown into a considerable field of management theory and practical application, helping organizations renew products, services, or even business models and strategy by way of the processes which designers have traditionally used to create and innovate. Design thinking orients itself towards the future in the sense that all desig...
Article
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The deliberate exploration of how the future competitive landscape may evolve is critical to uncovering threats and opportunities for firms that seek to improve their core businesses and advance to a superior position in the markets of the future. While techniques such as business wargaming can effectively support this process, such techniques can...
Article
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There is growing research interest in understanding the impact of search and the evaluation of information on markets, customers, and technologies. If search has an explicit future focus, this paper refers to it as forward-looking search. Previous research has focussed on the firm or innovation portfolio level. Little research has investigated whet...
Article
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We leverage the business model innovation and ambidexterity literature to investigate a contradictory case, the Swedish-Finnish Telecom operator TeliaSonera. Despite being challenged by three major disruptions, the company not only still exists but also enjoys remarkably good financial performance. Building on extant archival data and interviews, w...
Article
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Innovative technologies often alter established value chains and make traditional strategic planning methods inadequate. In this paper, we present the use of scenario-based business modelling to explore the market for the fifth generation mobile communication networks (5G). We discuss four scenarios that have been developed in a collaborative effor...
Article
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In this article we present and discuss the IT tools that Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories use to support their corporate foresight activities. These tools are integrated into an approach that encompasses the discovery of change, interpretation, and triggering managerial responses. The overall system consists of a tool for scanning for weak...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we explore the current understanding of corporate foresight as a system for creating understandings of possible futures, factors that drive the need and usage of corporate foresight as well as how corporate foresight can contribute to a firm's innovation performance. Drawing upon still limited research on corporate foresight, we find...
Technical Report
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This is the Final Report of a study conducted on open innovation in companies in Wales. The programme of research included a review of global literature, interviews with 15 companies, a survey and a focus group. The study discusses Government support measures for open innovation. Those most favoured by companies are:  Financial support for collab...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the Final Report of a study conducted on open innovation in companies in Wales. The programme of research included a review of global literature, interviews with 15 companies, a survey and a focus group. The study discusses Government support measures for open innovation. Those most favoured by companies are: Financial support for collabora...
Chapter
Nachhaltigkeitsinnovationen zeichnen sich häufig durch einen systemischen Charakter aus, so dass deren Entwicklung ein koordiniertes Vorgehen mehrerer Akteure erfordert. Um gemeinsam Chancen für systemische Nachhaltigkeitsinnovationen zu erkennen, sie zu planen und umzusetzen, werden neue kooperative Methoden und Ansätze benötigt. Insbesondere für...
Conference Paper
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This paper aims to explore whether intended business model innovation (BMI) activities enhance exploration capabilities of incumbent firms. We report findings from a longitudinal study that spans from 2010 to 2014. We find that even though incumbent firms generated 21 generic business models in 2010, only one has been successfully implemented by in...
Conference Paper
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Recently the inadequacy of planning and forecasting techniques for innovations with high levels of uncertainty has become a subject of intense research. In this paper a stochastic approach is presented which integrates uncertainty in a foresight methodology based on multi-dimensional quantitative key performance indicators (KPIs). A Monte Carlo Sim...
Article
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This paper focuses on exploring the potential and empirically observable value creation of strategic foresight activities in firms. We first review the literature on strategic foresight, innovation management and strategic management in order to identify the potential value contributions. We use survey data from 77 large multinational firms to asse...
Article
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Sustainability innovations are characterized by a systemic nature and require that multiple organizations act in an orchestrated fashion. To jointly identify opportunities and plan sustainability innovations, new methods and approaches are needed. In this article we describe a case study where 8 firms have collaborated to envision and create new bu...
Chapter
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The front end of innovation has earned the adjective ‘fuzzy,’ particularly as it is considered unstructured, non-linear, and highly iterative (Khurana and Rosenthal 1998; Koen et al. 2001; Verworn et al. 2008). But this should not be misunderstood as a need to rely on hope or chance encounters to drive innovation. Beating competition in the innov...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While the competitive dimension plays an important role in strategy, the aspect of competitors seems to be rather neglected in corporate foresight. In this paper we want to shed some more light on this underexplored field of corporate foresight. The literature review discusses approaches in corporate foresight, in particular scenario planning and b...
Data
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Conference Paper
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In this paper we explore the current understanding on how firms explore future changes and trends as well as plan their managerial responses. We review literature in four research streams: (1) environmental scanning, (2) futures research, (3) peripheral vision, and (4) corporate/strategic foresight. Through the analysis of more than 250 articles we...
Article
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Multinational companies are increasingly exploring new methods and tools to identify disruptions in the environment and are using this information for competitive advantage. The European Conference on Strategic Foresight is a forum of professionals for benchmarking and advancing Strategic Foresight practices. This paper summarizes the results of th...
Article
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In this article we want to give our answer to the question about if and how corporate foresight can increase the likelihood that we move toward sustainability – both on a company and a societal level. We propose a framework that links barriers to sustainability with corporate foresight methods that can be used to overcome these barriers and support...
Article
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This paper aims to explore how mature firms in the media industry adapt their business models when faced with disruptive external change. This is particularly challenging as it often involves questioning and renewing the mental models that have guided the management of the firm in earlier successful times. A case study approach was chosen to explor...
Article
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To ensure long-term competitiveness, companies need to develop the ability to explore, plan, and develop new business fields. A suitable approach faces multiple challenges because it needs to (1) integrate multiple perspectives, (2) ensure a high level of participation of the major stakeholders and decision-makers, (3) function despite a high level...
Article
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This paper looks at value creation from corporate futures research. Through a literature review, potential value creation is identified. This serves as guidance for an empirical investigation in which value creation is observed and linked to methods and practices. Using data from 20 case studies, three examples of value creation are discussed in de...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sustainability innovations are characterized by a systemic nature, which can only be developed if multiple firms work together. To jointly identify opportunities and plan such sustainability innovations, new methods and approaches are needed. In this article we describe a case study conducted in the German energy market, where business modelling ha...
Chapter
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So far, many innovation organizations steer their activities on a cost base due to a lack of quantitative measurements for the business effect of technology transfers. Deutsche Telekom Laboratories has created a method to quantify the economic effect of its research and innovation results. A parallel process focused on the measurement of the value...
Chapter
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Strategische Frühaufklärung ist ein Managementkonzept, das durch die Identifikation schwacher Signale eine Möglichkeit bietet, Veränderungen im unternehmerischen Um- feld zu erkennen und frühzeitig auf diese zu reagieren. Qualitativ hochwertige Frühauf- klärungsaktivitäten und die dadurch gewonnenen Informationen befähigen Unterneh- men, die Zukunf...
Article
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In times of discontinuous change, even large, successful organizations can find themselves in life-threatening situations. On many executive boards, a major issue is building organizations that are robust enough to handle to discontinuous change and agile enough to renew their portfolio of strategic resources. This article defines and describes a m...
Article
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One of the challenges in innovation management is managing uncertainty. Most industries repeatedly face disruptions coming from emerging technologies, political and legislative regulation, alternative business models, as well as from socio-cultural shifts. Continuous scanning and monitoring of a company's environment can contribute to reducing unce...
Article
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To tackle the European Union’s innovation system weaknesses in the commercialization of the research results, in 2009 the European Commission (EC) has launched an open call for the creation of 2-3 Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), the operative level of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). KICs are innovation ecosys...
Article
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In order to identify discontinuous technological change and develop appropriate action, companies are increasingly building technology foresight (TF) practices. This paper explores how, using networks of experts, TF capabilities can be built. On the basis of three case studies and 43 interviews, it is shown that building foresight systems through n...
Article
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Integrating the customer in the innovation process is believed to be a powerful means to reduce failure rates and to increase the revenue from new products. Although many companies have launched programmes to enable such integration, the understanding of the mechanisms behind successful programmes remains limited. Furthermore, the benefit of integr...
Book
Full-text available
Horizon scanning has been proposed as a means to detect and assess emerging issues. Its main focus is to detect and interpret weak signals of discontinuous change. In this article I argue that for advancing horizon scanning practices it is essential to create a better understanding on how the results from horizons scanning are utilizes to grasp opp...
Article
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Although in the last three decades much knowledge has been produced on how best to conduct foresight exercises, but little is known on how foresight should be integrated with the innovation effort of a company. Drawing on empirical evidence from 19 case studies and 107 interviews, we identify three roles that corporate foresight should play to maxi...
Article
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In diesem Artikel wird der Frage nachgegangen, (1) ob die Wissenschaftsförderung angesichts der kontinuierlich wachsenden Bedeutung der Forschung und Entwicklung (FuE) in Unternehmen noch notwendig ist, (2) welche Rollen die Wissenschaftsförderung im deutschen Innovationssystem spielen sollte und (3) wie die Wissenschaftsförderung angesichts der ve...
Conference Paper
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Rapid changes in technology and growing competition in consumer as well as business customer markets are forcing industry to explore new ways to foster innovation. This is also true in times of economic crises, where innovation can lead to the competitive advantage needed for success and survival. Making the right decisions is crucial and has to be...
Chapter
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It has been shown that even large multinational companies are not immortal. Discontinuous change in their environment can lead to an erosion of revenues and that new business fields need to be identified and developed in a timely fashion in order to avoid bankruptcy or a hostile takeover by a competitor. The ability of a company to adapt to a chang...
Chapter
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Article
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When, on 21st September 2006, 'The Economist' compared incumbent telecommunication operators with dinosaurs that could soon face extinction, most readers were ready to agree. The mixture of declining revenues and fierce competition was believed to shake the market and soon to dethrone former national champions. However, there are ways to fight that...
Conference Paper
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In the strategic management literature it is emphasized that in order to ensure long term survival and competitiveness, companies need to develop ambidextrous capabilities. Such capabilities should enable companies to develop both incremental innovation and radical innovation. In innovation management scholars and practitioners alike have engaged w...
Article
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The results of this study indicate that companies have built strong capabilities for collecting information. However, their ability to interpret information, disseminate gained insights and trigger management reactions leaves room for improvement: Only 23% of the participants state that SF insights are rapidly diffused, which implies that future in...
Article
Full-text available
After a long period of restructuring and outsourcing, companies are increasingly looking for new growth opportunities. Growth with existing prod-ucts or by expansion in new markets is limited. Therefore, companies are searching for ways to expand their activities in new businesses. A frequently used tool of multinational enterprises is corporate ve...
Article
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Wenn der Wind der Veränderung weht, bauen die einen Schutzhütten und die anderen Windmühlen. Fünf Zukunftstrends werden dafür sorgen, dass sich das IT-Management großer Unternehmen radikal verändern wird. Erfolgreichen Unternehmen wird es gelingen diese Veränderungen nicht nur zu bewältigen, sondern die Neuerungen einzusetzen, um Wettbewerbsvorteil...
Chapter
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Im Jahr 1980 stellte der Vorstand des Mineralölkonzerns Royal Dutch/Shell seiner Stabsabteilung die Frage: Was macht Unternehmen, die mit unserem vergleichbar sind, langfristig erfolgreich? Im Jahrzehnt nach der Ölkrise, die in der Mineralölindustrie eine starke Welle der Diversifizierung ausgelöst hatte, sollte insbesondere nach Unternehmen gesuch...
Conference Paper
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In recent years an increasing number of companies have adopted technology and product roadmapping. The major reason given by companies is the increase of complexity of products and technology portfolios. These companies believe that using roadmapping will help them, handle complexity, reduce double-work, increase effectiveness and efficiency of R&D...
Article
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Strategic Foresight (SF) systems enable companies to identify and react to opportunities and threats in their environment and anticipate future changes. This paper reports on a case study on SF practices of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG). The foresight system of DTAG includes continuous scanning and issue-driven foresight activities. These SF activitie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Integrating the customer in the innovation process is believed to be a powerful means to reduce failure rates and to increase the revenue from new products. Although many companies have launched programs to enable such integration, the understanding of the mechanisms behind successful programs remains limited. Furthermore, the benefit of integratin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Während die Technologische Frühaufklärung seit den 70er Jahren als eine wichtige Aktivität zur Erhaltung der technologischen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit angesehen wird, hat die marktseitige Frühaufklärung bisher deutlich weniger Beachtung gefunden. Erst durch die erhöhte Frequenz von marktseitigen Disruptionen ist das Interesse in Wirtschaft und Wissensch...
Article
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Im vorliegenden Beitrag stellen die Autoren Kooperations- möglichkeiten zwischen multinationalen Großunternehmen und Seedfonds vor. Es zeigt sich, dass durch Ausgestaltung der Zusammenarbeit im Bereich der Ausgründungen, des Innovationsscouting und der Vertriebspartnerschaft Potenziale liegen, die für Konzerne, Fonds und Portfoliounternehmen gleich...
Conference Paper
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In many industries companies are faced with disruptions from emerging technologies, from the political and legislative environment, from alternative business models or from socio-cultural shifts. To be able to anticipate, identify and manage disruptions, companies are increasingly developing and experimenting with new strategic foresight (SF) pract...
Article
Full-text available
After a long period of restructuring and outsourcing, companies are increasingly looking for new growth opportunities. Growth with existing prod-ucts or by expansion in new markets is limited. Therefore, companies are searching for ways to expand their activities in new businesses. A frequently used tool of multinational enterprises is corporate ve...
Article
Full-text available
English ------- In today’s fast changing environment large companies need to be fast and flexible to compete successfully against smaller, more agile competitors. Strategic Foresight encompasses a set of tools, processes and organisation forms that enable large companies to identify, assess, and act upon opportunities and threats, that have been id...
Article
Full-text available
In today’s fast changing environment large companies need to be fast and flexible to compete successfully against smaller, more agile competitors. Strategic foresight encompasses a set of tools, processes and organisation forms that enable large companies to identify, assess, and act upon opportunities and threats, that have been identified by weak...
Article
Full-text available
Technology Intelligence has become an important field of study in which a variety of different methods are discussed, all aiming at identifying opportunities and threats arising from advances in technology. In this respect, Technology Scouting is a method which can lower the time lag between the advances in technology and their detection by methods...
Article
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Strategic Foresight activities enable companies to use weak signals to identify opportunities and threats. Research on Strategic Foresight proposes different methods, discusses their implementation and gives recommendations on how to link Strategic Foresight with other functions in an organization. Based on a literature review, we define a generic...