Revisiting Ansoff's weak signals – A systematic literature review

Vivek Venugopal, Aylin Ates, Peter McKiernan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022
Event36th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management: The British Academy of Management Conference 2022 - Alliance Manchester Business School, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 31 Aug 20222 Sept 2022


Conference36th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management
Abbreviated titleBAM 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • weak signals
  • systematic literature review
  • foresight studies
  • strategic management


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