Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
It is often claimed that many of the leading successful products emerge incidentally. It is hardly possible, even in a retrospective examination, to account for such incidents by ideation methods devised to enhance randomness. The present research reviews the criticism raised in past literature claiming that the widespread randomness-enhancing methods, which advocate unbounded ideation, are ill defined; they do not specify the goal, the initial state, the operators, or the constraints of the ideation problem. In contrast, scant attention has been devoted, both in research and practice, to bounded scope ideation methods, which advocate that inventive thinking becomes more productive when the ideation process is channeled into pre-defined routes, particularly, if it follows templates that underlie the internal dynamics of past product-based trends. The present research exemplifies the use of templates in explaining major marketing breakthroughs, outlines the procedures for using component templates, and assesses empirically the value of this approach among practitioners in relevant ideation tasks.
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