Keywords: corporate foresight, futures research, society and technology, market developments, society, strategic planning, innovation management, automotive business, early warning, technology push, market pull
Corporate foresight: integrating the future business environment into innovation and strategy
This paper focuses on the practice of corporate foresight within a multinational automotive company. It portrays how the early detection of medium- to long-term developments in the broader business environment, including social and market developments, is integrated into innovation and strategy processes. The objective of the paper is to portray the genesis of corporate foresight, major working areas and benefits for the company. The initial section highlights the driving forces that promoted the establishment of corporate foresight, namely the convergence of strategic policy intelligence with strategic early recognition and futures research. The core section highlights five major fields of foresight practice which encompass strategic issues on different levels: long-term market developments, future customer needs, prospective evaluation of innovations, business processes and organisational change, and scanning and monitoring. The paper concludes with characterising the organisational architecture of a mature corporate foresight group.