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A Framework for Production Innovation: Expanding and Creating New Production Capabilities
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Humans and technology. (Product Innovation)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77507OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77507DiVA, id: diva2:1390063
Available from: 2020-01-31 Created: 2020-01-31 Last updated: 2020-01-31
In thesis
1. A conceptual framework for production innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A conceptual framework for production innovation
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Production plays a central role in the global sustainability challenge the world is facing. Rising population numbers and increased middle class lead to even higher consumption and production of goods. Hence, the production industry has a large responsibility, and innovative products and ways of producing can make a significant difference in terms of sustainability, both on company and global level, by increased consideration of long-term benefits and consequences. In addition, a major shift in the global production industry takes place, from previously mainly manufacturing goods, towards currently providing more and more sophisticated solutions to satisfy the ever increasing and varying needs of customers. To address these challenges, a climate for production innovation and well-developed abilities to innovate production processes is required, in order to deliver both incremental and radical improvements on a short-term and long-term basis. One of the more enduring ideas in organisation science is that an organisation’s long-term success depends on its ability to exploit its current capabilities while simultaneously exploring fundamentally new competencies. Although it is known that both approaches are needed in a long-term perspective, exploitative innovations tend to be over-represented in established manufacturing firms, since short term measures, meeting demands of existing customers, and ease of measurement often are dominant concerns. To focus solely on exploitative innovation is not truly sustainable from a business perspective, since at some point the production system optimization will just start delivering marginal improvements. Hence, we need explorative production innovation in parallel to accomplish sustainable development in production. There is however very little focus in production development literature on realization of innovation that could be categorized as explorative. The objective of this thesis is therefor to advance the understanding of explorative production innovation and provide support for its realization. The thesis proposes a conceptual framework that can help structure and systematize production innovation realization, insights that form a foundation in order to create knowledge on how to manage it.

 

The conceptual framework describes and distinguishes between exploitative and explorative production innovation.  The application of an increased production capability that build upon existing knowledge to improve the production systems performance could be described as exploitative production innovation, and the application of new production capability, i.e. the capability to do new tasks by exploring and using new knowledge (in technology, process, management, information) could be described as explorative production innovation. The thesis also highlights aspects of innovation management that are related to the distinct characteristics of explorative production innovation that often may be perceived as challenging, i.e. the systemic nature, intangible outcomes, need for dynamic capability, and lack of process support. To support the realization of explorative production innovation, four key areas for its management is proposed: supporting the production innovation process, management and assessment of the unfamiliar, human resources and knowledge as key assets, implementation of systemic changes.

 

The thesis provides a conceptualization of production innovation, a theoretical framing of the phenomenon that previously was not existing. The findings also begin to frame production innovation management as a management discipline by describing how explorative production innovation can be managed on a strategic and tactical level. The findings can support managers seeking to complement existing continuous improvement and production optimization with explorative production innovation to obtain sustainable development of production and to strengthen a more proactive development of production in manufacturing companies. Long-term competitiveness builds upon organisations’ ability to build production capabilities “continuously”. Hence, the thesis propose that it is necessary to make production innovation management part of daily business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2020
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
production innovation, production development, conceptual framework
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77589 (URN)978-91-7790-526-4 (ISBN)978-91-7790-527-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-03-26, A1123, Luleå, 12:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-01-31 Created: 2020-01-31 Last updated: 2020-02-17Bibliographically approved

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