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Composing the innovation management symphony: A note on the 2017 ISPIM Innovation Conference in Vienna
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human and technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3685-2072
MINES ParisTech.
University of Kassel.
2018 (English)In: Technovation, ISSN 0166-4972, E-ISSN 1879-2383Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The Conference started in a lively manner with the Junior Researcher Lab on 18 June 2017, which sought to transfer the latest innovation management trends from research into practice and from practice back to research. James Woudhuysen, a journalist and Visiting Professor at London South Bank University, encouraged the assembled scholars to challenge their innovation management preconceptions to think not only about existing businesses, but also investigate the creation of new centres of production and types of jobs. Following this forceful introduction, the Lab continued with hands-on learning on research topics, such as how to increase the probability of getting research published, how to apply action based research and how to cope with the overall doctoral process. As the first movement in the innovation symphony, the Lab set an upbeat tone for the remainder of the event.

This year the conference brought together more than 450 innovation management experts from academia and practice. Following an enthusiastic early morning run for sports-minded delegates, the main conference started with the Newcomers’ Breakfast – an ISPIM tradition that provides first-time attendants with a warm welcome to the community and an opportunity to understand what ISPIM is all about. Gijs van Wulfen was the first of the three inspiring keynote presenters in the opening session and gave insights into how the effectiveness of any innovation process can be improved by using the FORTH method to navigate the innovation journey. James Woudhuysen explained how hard, but also how important, it is to try to forecast the future and predict what lies in store for many industries. Again, Woudhyusen challenged attendees to think about what the future of work will look like and what criteria should be used to identify new industry sectors. Tania de Jong from Creative Universe, Creativity Australia & Creative Innovation Global, shared a very personal story of how her grandmother invented the folding umbrella using her creative thinking potential at a time when such endeavour was not commonly expected of women. Tania, using her skills as a Soprano, also cajoled the various sections of the audience, each humming at a different pitch, into a harmonious whole. We saw that each contribution (no matter how small) plays an important part and must be well-coordinated to produce a successful result. This is, perhaps, not unlike successful innovation management.

The main conference sessions covered many different themes, from social and open innovation to foresight and innovation ecosystems. Moreover, three new Special Interest Groups were launched: Digital Disruption, Innovation Management Research Skills, and Industry–Academia Collaboration (PACES). These groups reflect the innovation management community's need to understand and shape popular, emerging topics; to advance the skills in the community as the field matures; and to continuously facilitate exchange between otherwise disconnected members of the community.

One particularly interesting insight was made in the digital disruption stream where it became clear that there is a need to focus on Digital Disruption as a research phenomenon but also a requirement to improve the methods and choices we make when researching it. Put more generally, successfully tackling new phenomena in the maturing field demands that researchers improve and update their methodological skills as only using the methods that have brought the field so far, will not create new, high quality contributions.

The conference remains an excellent place for discussion of the popular topics of open innovation & collaboration, business model innovation and teaching/coaching innovation. Growing interest was observed in the topics of entrepreneurship, data and design-driven thinking. Coming from different countries, backgrounds and research interests, attendees did succeed in composing an effective innovation symphony from a multidisciplinary perspective. Of course, this symphony is subject to growth and change, especially in the digital context. The latter has high potential to provide researchers with new tools and methods such as big data analytics and ways of collecting data. So for the new innovation management symphony to fulfil its promise, we in the discipline of innovation management will require both new instruments and new notes to play by.

Daniel Kiel, Julian Müller, Christian Arnold, Kai-Ingo Voigt (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) received The Alex Gofman Award for Best Student Paper for “Sustainable Industrial Value Creation: Benefits and Challenges of Industry 4.0″, and Roland Ortt (TU Delft, Holland), Ozgur Dedehayir (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Francesc Miralles & Carla Reverola (La Salle - Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain) were awarded The Knut Holt Award for Best Paper for " Innovators and early adopters in the diffusion of innovations: A literature review."

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018.
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68090DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2018.03.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68090DiVA, id: diva2:1193729
Available from: 2018-03-27 Created: 2018-03-27 Last updated: 2018-04-03

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