Foresight as a Facilitator for Innovative Capability and Organizational Adaptability: Insights from a Family Firm in the HVAC Industry

  • Reimo JahnEmail author
  • Hans Koller


Novel business models and increasing innovation speed push global competition in technology-driven markets. Especially, small- and medium-sized family firms struggle with allocating resources in order to cope with volatile market conditions and high-frequency innovations. Foresight as early detection of environmental change has been proven efficient for preparing companies for the future. This chapter reports on a nine-month foresight program conducted with participants from several departments within STULZ, a family firm in the industry of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Findings from in-depth case-work and semi-structured interviews show that the foresight program encouraged innovative thinking among employees and gave space for creative exchange. In summary, STULZ employees identified 29 future scenarios, eight early warning signals as well as innovative projections for three novel products, four service proposals, and 15 processes. Also, the foresight program affected processes of change and established employees’ confidence in STULZ’s adaptability. The chapter adds insights on the significance of long-term management strategies, as well as, future-oriented organizational policy to sustain business success among the microcosm of a family firm.


Corporate foresight Futures thinking Technology change Change management Organizational policy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Technology and Innovation ManagementHelmut Schmidt UniversityHamburgGermany

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