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Beyond managing uncertainty: insights from studying equivocality in the fuzzy front end of product and process innovation projects
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8103-2519
Högskolan i Halmstad.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8770-8874
2011 (English)In: IEEE transactions on engineering management, ISSN 0018-9391, E-ISSN 1558-0040, Vol. 58, no 3, p. 551-563Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown uncertainty reduction to be critical in the fuzzy front end of the innovation process, but little attention has been given to the equally important concept of equivocality, although it is a defining characteristic of many front-end projects. To address this research gap, this paper report the results from a longitudinal, multiple case study of four large companies oriented to both product and process innovation. First, our results show that both uncertainty and equivocality is more effectively reduced in successful front-end projects than in unsuccessful ones. Second, the negative consequences of equivocality appear more critical to front-end performance than the consequences following uncertainty. Third, our results show that uncertainty and equivocality are reduced sequentially in successful projects and simultaneously in unsuccessful projects. Finally, uncertainty and equivocality takes longer time to reduce in process innovation projects than in product innovation projects, which is a consequence of the systemic nature of process innovation. Altogether, these findings provide strong implications for managing front-end projects more proficiently.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 58, no 3, p. 551-563
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Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-2878DOI: 10.1109/TEM.2010.2095017ISI: 000293707100012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79960719820Local ID: 099c1050-f320-11df-8b36-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-2878DiVA, id: diva2:975732
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Fastelaboratoriet - VINNEXC
Note
Validerad; 2011; 20101118 (johfri)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Frishammar, JohanWincent, Joakim

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