Visions and Innovation Strategy

Jonathan Sapsed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


The concept of vision has appeared with increasing frequency in management theory and practice. Vision is regularly referred to in everyday popular usage, by business people. journalists, politicians, as well as scholars. Despite this familiarity it is still not clear what vision is, and how its meaning is different from more established terms as strategy, forecasting or planning. Moreover, the claims about the function and power of visions are not always substantiated through empirical observation. The visions attributed to organizations are not always clearly linked to competencies, or to observed strategic decisions and actions. This chapter attempts to consolidate and clarify the idea of vision as it is presented in the management and innovation literatures. It also shows actual instances of visions are, what they are not, and how they are used. The chapter is organised as follows: the management literature on visions is reviewed in the second section; it shows how the vision is distinguished from terms such as strategy, plan and forecast. The third section reviews the technology and innovation studies literature, which links visions to knowledge bases and strategic actions of organizations. The fourth section describes the method for the case studies. The case studies in sections five to eight illustrate four tactical and strategic uses of vision by firms entering the uncertain area of digital media in the 1990s. The Ninth section discusses the chapters findings, and concludes with some thoughts on managerial implications and the scope for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight
EditorsLaura Anna Constanzo, Robert Bradley MacKay
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781845429638
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Innovation


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