For decades, suggestion systems have been used to include employees in the innovation process. However, in order to gather superior ideas, integrating external stakeholders is critical to the innovation success. Within this paper, the authors derive a sophisticated model of an integrated idea management, which is examined with an explorative analysis. The results confirm the relevance of an integrated idea management, particularly the clear tendency towards an integration of external groups. Basically, this integration occurs directly through individual functional divisions such as purchasing, development and sales. Here especially, differentiating potentials are offered for emerging technology ventures. But it is important that idea and innovation management are integrated during the building-up stage while internal and external network structures are still manageable and often consist of the managers' and founders' personal contacts. Hence, the earlier an integrated idea management is implemented, the greater is the probability of high numbers of successful innovations.
International Journal of Technology Policy and Management, 2007, Vol 7, Issue 3, p. 304-321