Unbundling and managing uncertainty surrounding emerging technologies
Keywords: 
Technological change
Technology management
Ecosystem
Business model
Dynamic managerial capabilities
Issue Date: 
17-Feb-2021
Publisher: 
Informs
ISSN: 
2333-2077
Citation: 
Kapoor, R. (Rahul); Klueter, T.M. (Thomas Maximilian). "Unbundling and managing uncertainty surrounding emerging technologies". Strategy Science. 6 (1), 2021-02-17, 62 - 74
Abstract
Emerging technologies, while offering enormous potential for economic growth, carry a high degree of uncertainty regarding whether and when that potential may be realized. How can firms evaluate the uncertainty surrounding an emerging technology? To address this question, we offer a structured approach that unbundles the uncertainty surrounding emerging technologies, incorporating both supply- and demand-side factors. These include the focal technology itself, the potential market applications, the users adopting the technology, the ecosystem of activities that support the technology’s value creation, and the business model with which the technology is being commercialized. We further consider that the uncertainty surrounding each of these sources may not be resolved in a vacuum, but, rather, that it may interact with other sources of uncertainty in a pooled, sequential, or reciprocal way. Such a structured approach of evaluating uncertainty can help firms and managers in terms of the cognitive processes and the managerial practices and provide microfoundations for dynamic managerial capabilities. We illustrate the applicability of the framework for two emerging technologies—gene therapy and autonomous vehicles—and how the framework can be integrated with prominent managerial practices for managing uncertainty.
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