The Draw Poker Theory of Innovation Management: Illustrations from the Automotive Industry

  • John Langrish


The management of technological change involves making decisions about an uncertain future in competition with other decision makers (even centrally planned economies have to consider international competition). The process of making technological decisions under conditions of uncertainty has certain features in common with playing the card game, poker. There are many variants of this game but those variants, sometimes called draw poker, which allow competitors to improve their cards by obtaining new ones have the following features that invite comparison with the management of technological change:
  1. 1.

    A set of rules determining which hand is better than another hand.

  2. 2.

    The possibility of improving one’s own hand.

  3. 3.

    The possibility of competitors improving their own hands.

  4. 4.

    A price to be paid for withdrawing from competition (loss of stake) and a price to be paid for continuing in competition. (Poker differs from innovation in that there is always a “winner”.)



Technological Change Innovation Management Card Game Technological Regime Calcium Carbide 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Langrish

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