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Integrating art as a trans-boundary element in a radical innovation framework

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Companies have learned that radical innovations (RIs) are a prerequisite to grow organically. However, companies struggle to identify and introduce RIs, as their inherent high uncertainties and novelty challenge established organisations and management routines. To address the first challenge, companies need to take a holistic approach and design a trans-boundary environment of creativity, trans-disciplinary and entrepreneurial spirit. This environment attracts and retains visionary people, fosters generation of new opportunities and cultivates adaptability. By adapting evaluation metrics for RI, setting up flexible processes, and promoting trans-disciplinary exchange, the second challenge can be addressed. Increased research has concentrated on several aspects of RI lately, but so far a combining framework is missing.

Our paper bridges this gap by developing an improved theoretical framework, enhancing the existing literature and introducing art as a method to advance trans-disciplinary interchange. In a case-study approach, we have applied our framework to the research and development department of Vodafone Research and Development, Germany, as they integrate art methodically in their research and development process. Analysing their RI capabilities, we identify the trans-disciplinary exchange with artists as a novel initiator and driver of RI, which has not yet been adequately considered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Vodafone R&D Germany, Chiemgaustraße 116, 81549 München, Germany. ;, Email: 2: Management of Innovation and Technology, University of Regensburg, 93047 Regensburg, Germany., Email:

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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