Johan Frishammar ( is Associate Professor of Industrial Management at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, and centre director for the Promote research group. He has articles published in the California Management Review, Journal of Product Innovation Management, International Studies of Management and Organization, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, International Journal of Technology Management, and other journals. Current research interests include management of the fuzzy front end, inbound- and outbound open innovation, and R&D management in process firms.

Achieving Success in the Fuzzy Front End Phase of Innovation

Activities in the front end of the innovation process are often difficult to anticipate, overview and perform. Yet they are critical to successful outcomes of the innovation process. In light of a growing managerial interest in the front end, this article identifies key success factors for managing the front end, balancing acts which innovation managers need to address, as well as key contingencies affecting front end activities. Proficiency in the front end is indeed no easy task, but will have an enormous positive impact on performance for those firms that succeed.