Constructing systemic transformation capacities in a research and technology organisation: Applying diversified roadmap concept at VTT, Finland

Toni Ahlqvist, Minna Halonen, Annele Eerola, Sirkku Kivisaari, Johanna Kohl, Raija Koivisto, Jouko Myllyoja

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


    Currently the organisational and geographical scales of innovation systems are more interlinked than ever. It means that ramifications of systemic transformations flow through this meta-system faster than before and these flows have complex effects. Because of this systemic complexity, the implications are also harder to anticipate. This is why research and technology organisations (RTOs), as key nodes in the meta-system, should develop at least two systemic capacities: 1) partial structural openness and fluidity that endorse rapid alterations in the organisational structures enabling flexibility in responding to the systemic flows, and 2) horizontal and pervasive anticipatory culture that in a networked fashion integrates the critical knowledge in a RTO to reflexively construct an internal future-oriented agency, i.e. proactive and bottom-up participatory approach which leads to action. In this paper we explore the questions of systemic transformations and the building of anticipatory culture in the context of a Finnish RTO, namely VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Firstly, we discuss VTT's internal R&D approach that emphasises the so-called parallel innovation process. Secondly, we propose that principles of technology roadmapping could be applied in building the strategic capacities and in constructing what we call a horizontal foresight function. We present a diversified roadmap concept that widens the scope of traditional technology roadmapping towards such directions as visionary strategic management, network building and development, and organisational learning and adaptation. Thirdly, we exemplify these diversified roadmapping concepts by analysing two VTT case studies: Building Service roadmapping process and Service Science and Business (SSB) Network roadmapping process. The case studies have two aims: 1) to present and assess the diversified roadmap method and 2) to evaluate roadmapping as a catalyst of systemic changes in a RTO. The case studies reflect on the questions of how to build a required level of systemic openness and stimulate the construction of horizontal anticipatory culture in a RTO. Thus our results are threefold: Firstly, the paper provides paths to enable anticipatory culture in RTOs and other organisations. Secondly, the paper widens the scope of roadmapping towards the field of organisational development and visionary planning. Thirdly, the paper presents a diversified roadmap model that can be applied in specific organisational settings. The key issue from the policy perspective is that the generic ideas of this paper can be utilised also in several policy fields
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventSeville Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, FTA 2011 - Seville, Spain
    Duration: 12 May 201113 May 2011


    ConferenceSeville Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, FTA 2011
    Abbreviated titleFTA 2011


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