Opening up strategic technology planning: extended roadmaps and functional markets

Ulrich Lichtenthaler (WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 8 February 2008



The purpose of this paper is to help firms establish successful technology planning processes in the context of open innovation.


Although some pioneering firms realise enormous benefits from outward technology transfer, many others experience major difficulties in managing external technology exploitation. To overcome these managerial challenges, firms need to establish strategic technology planning processes, which takes into account the increasing importance of external technology commercialisation. Therefore, this paper conceptually explores strategic technology planning in open innovation systems.


After detailing the characteristics of external technology exploitation, two instruments that may help firms incorporate external technology exploitation in strategic technology planning are developed. First, the concept of product‐technology roadmaps is extended to include external technology exploitation. Second, the functional market concept is transferred from the level of product markets to the level of technology markets.


In many industries, external technology commercialisation is critical to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Opening up strategic technology planning therefore contributes to firm performance in a knowledge‐based economy. As a result, this paper has major implications for research into strategic planning, technology management and open innovation.



Lichtenthaler, U. (2008), "Opening up strategic technology planning: extended roadmaps and functional markets", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 77-91.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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