Every generation of managers experiments with new organizational forms—new business models and the organizational structures and management processes required to support them. Much of the current experimentation with business and organizational models is occurring in knowledge-intensive industries such as biotechnology, computers, telecommunications, and medical and scientific equipment. The principal business model emerging in these and similar industries can be called market exploration. Market exploration is a firm's pursuit of opportunities created by intersecting technologies and markets. The market exploration process is complex, involving technology development, product development, and commercialization in collaboration with customers and other firms, as well as involving the orderly development of markets that have large but unknown potential. Firms that want to be effective at market exploration must organize specifically for innovation—they must be able to build and manage an I-form organization. This article shows how many firms are moving towards and improving the I-form organization and discusses its purpose, key features, and benefits.
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