Revisiting Ansoff's weak signals – A systematic literature review

Venugopal, Vivek and Ates, Aylin and McKiernan, Peter (2022) Revisiting Ansoff's weak signals – A systematic literature review. In: 36th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management, 2022-08-31 - 2022-09-02, Alliance Manchester Business School.

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This paper presents a systematic literature review on the weak signals concept proposed by Ansoff. The various definitions of weak signals and theoretical arguments about it are presented. The paper argues that there is a need for research to bring in conceptual clarity of weak signals. This is followed by discussion on the research on the various methods for detection of weak signals. Next, research on the filters (biases) that weak signals need to pass and on how to overcome them are presented. Further, it is argued that there is a lack of research in the analysis of weak signals and that it would be beneficial to combine sensemaking with weak signal analysis. Finally, the various applications of weak signals, apart from foresight methods are presented. Research gaps are identified for future research.