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The Cross-Industry Innovation Process – Developing Break-Through Cross-Industry Innovation with Analogical Thinking

In this article we investigate the approach of analogical thinking for product innovation. We collected data of projects from four engineering firms where analogical thinking was successfully applied for breakthrough Cross-Industry Innovations. This type of innova-tion is characterized by applying knowledge and technologies from other industries in the own industry's context. Results show that abstracting the problem by in-depth tech-nical and contextual analysis is pivotal when searching for analogical solutions. Fur-thermore, chances for the identification of highly novel analogous solutions are in-creased if the problem is abstracted to the level of its structural similarities to other set-tings. We also found that the identification of structural similarities is supported when firms not only rely on the cognitive abilities of the individual but employ an active search based on abstract search terms. Based on these insights, we propose a process model for the development of Cross-Industry Innovations by means of analogical thinking.
   
type book chapter (English)
   
keywords Cross-Industry Innovation, Analogical Thinking
   
book title Immer eine Idee voraus. Wie innovative Unternehmen Kreativität systematisch nutzen
date of appearance 2009
publisher Harland media (Fischbachtal)
ISBN 978-3-938363-37-9
page(s) 479-497
citation Gassmann, O., & Zeschky, M. (2009). The Cross-Industry Innovation Process – Developing Break-Through Cross-Industry Innovation with Analogical Thinking. In Immer eine Idee voraus. Wie innovative Unternehmen Kreativität systematisch nutzen (pp. 479-497). Fischbachtal: Harland media. - ISBN 978-3-938363-37-9.