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  • 1.
    Buffington, John
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    McCubbrey, Donald
    Department of Information Technology and Electronic Commerce, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver.
    A conceptual framework of generative customization as an approach to product innovation and fulfillment2011In: European Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1460-1060, E-ISSN 1758-7115, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 388-403Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to address the problem in research of a lack of a holistic conceptual framework related to incremental and discontinuous innovation. Too often, the term "innovation" is used without an understanding of how it can be applied in a product design and supply chain fulfillment system. In this study, the goal is to develop a holistic "innovation continuum" to treat innovation as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Design/methodology/approach: A comprehensive literature review was conducted, and from it, four propositions and a conceptual framework were developed. Findings: The authors determined that an "innovation continuum" can be established through the use of a complex adaptive system. Two, incremental innovation is determined to possess adaptive qualities, and can be enhanced through the use of collaboration and evolutionary algorithms. Three, discontinuous innovation is established as a creative process enabled through expert designers, and improved through the use of generative design. Next, a supply chain system for incremental innovation can be assisted by the use of adaptive systems, but it is not proven that a generative customization system (for discontinuous innovation) can be improved through the use of a CAS. Originality/value: The paper has established an "innovation continuum" linking incremental and discontinuous innovation within one holistic system. It establishes the use of evolutionary algorithms to improve the viability of incremental innovation, and generative design for discontinuous innovation. Finally, the concept of generative customization as an end to end product design and supply chain fulfillment solution for discontinuous innovation is established

  • 2.
    Bäckström, Izabelle
    et al.
    Lund University, Lund.
    Lindberg, Malin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human and technology.
    Varying involvement in digitally enhanced employee-driven innovation2019In: European Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1460-1060, E-ISSN 1758-7115, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 524-540Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge about the mechanisms behind, and the implications of, varying involvement in digitally enhanced employee-driven innovation (EDI) by studying how a firm integrates a web-based tool in the organization of its EDI process. Design/methodology/approach: Based on a qualitative in-depth interview study with managers and employees at one high-performing and one low-performing office of a global IT firm, a critical discourse analysis was performed. It explored how the EDI discourse was produced, distributed and consumed in relation to the web-based tool for collecting and selecting employee ideas. Findings: The results demonstrate that the production of the innovation discourse by the top-level management, which emphasizes client satisfaction rather than employee engagement, restricts the employees’ utilization of the digital platform that distributes the discourse. However, at the high-performing office, employee participation is ensured because the local managers act as co-distributors of the digital tool. Research limitations/implications: The single case study design limits the generalizability of the results, but is nevertheless relevant for understanding the mechanisms and implications in similar contexts where web-based tools are used to enhance EDI processes. Practical implications: The study provides practical insights into the importance of local management’s active promotion of digital tools in order to ensure employee involvement. Originality/value: The study contributes to the EDI literature by identifying some mechanisms behind and the implications of varying employee involvement in digitally enhanced EDI processes.

  • 3.
    Kurkkio, Monika
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Managing the fuzzy front-end: insights from process firms2011In: European Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1460-1060, E-ISSN 1758-7115, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 252-269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The aim of this paper is to inform researchers and practitioners about the fuzzy front-end (FFE) of the innovation process in process firms. Design/methodology/approach – A multiple case study of four process firms was conducted, with a total of 64 semi-structured interviews. Findings – The paper gives new insights into the FFE in non-assembled product and process development in process firms. The FFE of non-assembled product and process development is first conceptualized and key activities are identified. Further, how the strong relationship between product and process development can be managed in the FFE is discussed. Research limitations/implications – All four firms are from the mineral and metals industry, prompting caution when generalizing the results to other contexts. This research offers insights about the FFE in process firms. Theoretical implications are added to the existing literature on the FFE and general process development literature, and the paper increases our understanding of innovation management in general. Practical implications – From a practical point of view, the paper gives advice on how managers in process firms can increase speed and clarity in the FFE. The conceptualizations and the identified front-end key activities are suggested as checklists for improving the FFE stage. Originality/value – This study compares how the FFE within two different types of innovations is conceptualized and managed. Thus, the FFE in non-assembled product and process development is explored. The FFE of process development is an unexplored context.

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