Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

A method for anticipating the disruptive nature of digitalization in the machine-building industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The purpose of this paper is to create a technology foresight method in which the visual analogue scale is used to harness the wisdom of expert crowds, namely, industry experts, in anticipating potential disruptions in an industry. In an empirical demonstration, we investigate experts' views and perceptions of possible future disruption caused by digitalization in an established machine-building industry. We demonstrate the usability of the proposed method in detecting future worldviews of experts grouped by their position in the value chain. The results show polarized responses, with considerable clustering among groups. For example, respondents who were inclined to view digital technologies as disruptive (i.e., as changing the paradigm of value creation in machine-building) also viewed them as related more to service and business models than to products and operation. We discuss the theoretical and practical contributions of the proposed method and suggest fruitful avenues for future research.


  • Disruptive technologies, Industry transformation, Strategy formation, Technology foresight, Visual analogue scale

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland