Gambling versus Designing: Organizing for the Design of the Probability Space in the Energy Sector

Hooge, S, Kokshagina, O, Le Masson, P, Levillain, K, Weil, B, Fabreguettes, V and Popiolek, N 2016, 'Gambling versus Designing: Organizing for the Design of the Probability Space in the Energy Sector', Creativity and Innovation Management, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 464-483.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Gambling versus Designing: Organizing for the Design of the Probability Space in the Energy Sector
Author(s) Hooge, S
Kokshagina, O
Le Masson, P
Levillain, K
Weil, B
Fabreguettes, V
Popiolek, N
Year 2016
Journal name Creativity and Innovation Management
Volume number 25
Issue number 4
Start page 464
End page 483
Total pages 20
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Abstract The objective of this paper is to elucidate an organizational process for the design of generic technologies (GTs). While recognizing the success of GTs, the literature on innovation management generally describes their design according to evolutionary strategies featuring multiple and uncertain trials, resulting in the discovery of common features among multiple applications. This random walk depends on multiple market and technological uncertainties that are considered exogenous: as smart as he can be, the gambler must play in a given probability space. However, what happens when the innovator is not a gambler but a designer, i.e., when the actor is able to establish new links between previously independent emerging markets and technologies? Formally speaking, the actor designs a new probability space. Building on a case study of two technological development programmes at the French Center for Atomic Energy, we present cases of GTs that correspond to this logic of designing the probability space, i.e. the logic of intentionally designing common features that bridge the gap between a priori heterogeneous applications and technologies. This study provides another example showing that the usual trial‐and‐learning strategy is not the only strategy to design GTs and that these technologies can be designed by intentionally building new interdependences between markets and technologies. Our main result is that building these interdependences requires organizational patterns that correspond to a design of exploration phase in which multiple technology suppliers and application providers are involved in designing both the probability space itself and the instruments to explore and benefit from this new space.
Subject Innovation and Technology Management
DOI - identifier 10.1111/caim.12178
Copyright notice © 2016 John Wiley & Sons
ISSN 1467-8691
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