Foreseeing disruptive technological innovations


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 30 August 2011



Daim, T.U. (2011), "Foreseeing disruptive technological innovations", Foresight, Vol. 13 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Foreseeing disruptive technological innovations

Article Type: Guest editorial From: foresight, Volume 13, Issue 5

When asked about what keeps executives of industrial firms and government agencies awake, many of them refer to the challenges with emerging technologies as they tend to disrupt business as usual. This issue focuses on this challenge and provides solutions at different levels.

The papers in this issue were selected from those presented at the recent Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) in July 2010 in Thailand. Due to the popularity of the PICMET special issue, there were quite a number of submissions. As a result there were more papers than an issue would have. This resulted in two issues. The first one which is presented here focuses on foreseeing these technological disruptions while the second one reviews a wide range of method and tools for managing them.

There are five papers in this first issue. While the first two papers focus on management strategies the last three demonstrate use of intelligence from publications and patents to improve these strategies.

The first paper by Hang provides an assessment framework for disruptive innovations. The author provides four examples including steel minimills, 3.5 inch disk drive, a failed mobile phone system and Google’s web-based office applications.

Madidi and Huesig explore differences in incumbent response behavior in the face of a technological discontinuity. They study a case from the telecommunication industry: the wireless local area networks (W-LANs) technology.

Karvonen and Kassi demonstrate the use of patent analysis to observe convergence of technologies. Their findings indicate that the trends of the trajectory changes and growing overlaps of technological fields show indications for possible convergence between industries.

Shibata, Kajikawa and Sakata use intelligence from patents and papers to identify potential technology opportunities for innovation.

The last paper by Pretorius and Winzker uses bibliometric analysis and bass diffusion model to explore developments in biomedical products. They apply the method to pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and their results provide evidence for the emergence of this technology.

Tugrul U. Daim

About the Guest Editor

Tugrul U. Daim is an Associate Professor and PhD Program Director in the Department of Engineering and Technology Management at Portland State University. Prior to joining PSU, he had worked at Intel Corporation for over a decade in varying management roles. His recent focus has been in the energy sector where he has been helping regional agencies develop technology roadmaps for their future investments. He is also a Visiting Professor with the Northern Institute of Technology at Technical University of Hamburg, Harburg. He has been recently appointed as Extraordinary Professor at the Graduate School of Technology Management at University of Pretoria. He has published over 100 refereed papers in journals and conference proceedings. His papers have appeared in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Technovation, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Computers and Industrial Engineering, Energy, Energy Policy and many others. He has coauthored four books of readings and several proceedings. He is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management and North American Editor of Technological Forecasting and Social Change. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University in Turkey, MS in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, MS in Engineering Management from Portland State University, and PhD in Systems Science: Engineering Management from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Tugrul U. Daim can be contacted at:

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