Serendipity and innovation

Beyond planning and experimental-driven exploration

Authored by: Martin Kamprath , Tassilo Henike

The Routledge Companion to Innovation Management

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138244719
eBook ISBN: 9781315276670
Adobe ISBN:


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Unexpected events are largely treated as unwanted and result from wrong or insufficient planning. Events that do not meet expectations seem to have a negative aura by nature. When unexpected events happen, people fear potential loses more than gains (cf. Kahneman and Tversky, 1984). That is why people prefer to seek expectable events with lower certain gains as well as loses and to avoid unexpectable events with considerably higher uncertain gains or loses. However, according to Peter Drucker (1985), unexpected events are the simplest and easiest source for innovation.

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