Five steps to transforming innovation processes: continually adjusting to new environments

Ulrich Lichtenthaler (Mannheim, Germany)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Publication date: 19 September 2016



This paper aims to suggest a procedure for successfully transforming a firm’s innovation processes in a systematic way.


This is a conceptual paper, which draws on prior academic and practitioner papers.


Changes in a firm’s environment, such as new technological trends or customer needs, regularly call for the dynamic renewal of a firm’s innovation processes. Nonetheless, most firms proceed in a surprisingly unsystematic way if they transform their innovation processes. This approach contrasts with the systematic innovation processes that many firms have established to manage their product development from initial idea to final market launch.


To overcome this discrepancy, this paper distinguishes reconfiguration and realignment challenges in the transformation of a firm’s innovation processes. These different activities are illustrated with the example of transforming firms’ innovation processes towards open innovation. Furthermore, a five-step procedure is suggested to ease implementation. On this basis, implications for managers are discussed with respect to proficiently adapting their firms’ innovation processes over time.



Lichtenthaler, U. (2016), "Five steps to transforming innovation processes: continually adjusting to new environments", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 39-45.

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