Initiating business opportunity creation in nascent markets: A practice-based, future-oriented explorative case study

Tapio Koivisto, Markku Mikkola, Ilari Kaarela

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    This study focuses on enhancing the sensemaking capability of the organisation. The starting point is the assumption that the process of identifying and creating new business opportunities is typically an evolutionary process based on experiential learning, and trial and error. This implies that future-oriented sensemaking capabilities are constrained by past actions. However, companies with advanced sensemaking capability can anticipate the potential development path(s) of the field. This gives them a strategic advantage. The issue of developing the more complicated cognitive frameworks and improving the sensemaking capacity of an organisation is approached methodologically on the basis of collaborative management research. Methodologically we are focused on the question of how the sensemaking capacity of individual organisations can be supported and extended. The empirical point of reference of the study lies in the business development process of ABB Marine. The company is developing new energy management solutions for the use of the marine industry. The researchers aimed to support the development work and decisionmaking on new offerings and business development, and to generate new knowledge of the creation of new markets and b siness opportunities at the fuzzy front end of innovation. We focus in particular on how proactive or future-oriented sensemaking can be extended by drawing on collaborative research processes and "engaged scholarship". The task of futureoriented sensemaking is to construct intersubjective meanings, images and schemes in conversation where these meanings and interpretations create images of future orientation. The question of future-oriented sensemaking is approached conceptually and thematically on the basis of both entrepreneurship research and service-dominant logic as an issue of new business exploration and creation. The practical outcome of the study includes the conceptual model and framework that links offered technological solutions and services to customers' needs and demands. Instead of trying to solve the problem of opportunity creation in a trial and error manner by offering technological solutions only, the opportunity creation is supported through the innovative combination of services and technological solutions. Based on the research, it is possible to construct a heuristic model of how to facilitate business opportunity creation in nascent markets. It is also possible to construct a generic model/theory regarding the mechanisms which mediate the development of new market relationships. In addition, it is possible to clarify the view of why the dialogue and collaboration between research and practice is necessary and on what methodological grounds it is possible to produce both scientifically and practically relevant knowledge. One of the main results of the study is that practically and scientifically relevant knowledge can be produced with the methods of practice-oriented intervention research. In fact, it is shown that this is a real opportunity, not just an intention or a normative idea. Through collaborative management research, it is possible to contribute to both scientific discussion and practical decision-making. In relation to practice and decision-making it is possible to produce conceptually relevant knowledge. The term conceptual relevance refers to the impact of scientific knowledge on framing and reframing the decision situation in practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages86
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8363-8
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-8362-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Science


    • prospective sensemaking
    • collaborative management research
    • opportunity creation
    • service-dominant logic
    • nascent markets
    • enactment
    • perspective making and perspective taking
    • assumption challenging approach
    • reflexive research


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