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Decision making in innovation: understanding selection and prioritizaiton of development projects
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Integrated Product Development.
2008 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis has its origin in empirical evidence. Some Swedish companies claimed that despite having plenty of proposals for developing new products, they experienced problems when choosing from all those alternatives. Their problem was how to select among new ideas the ones for being developed and the ones to be rejected, how many projects to run according to their capacity, when to start a development project and when to stop one, and how to decide among ongoing projects which the most important ones were. The companies’ problem was decision making in the context of innovation.

 According to literature, a deeper understanding is needed of the decision making process in innovation, taking into account its organizational and procedural complexities. The purpose of this thesis is to achieve an understanding of the decision making process in innovation.  The thesis is based on an explorative study, with interviews carried out in three companies that have new product development as a core competitive factor. The empirical study focuses on the decisions made for selection and prioritization of different innovative alternatives. 

As a result of the analysis of the empirical data a conceptualization of the decision making process was developed. Furthermore, it was described the relevant problems that decision makers experience, the main characteristics of the decision making process and the role that decision making plays in innovation. The implications of these findings for designing work procedures to support decision making in innovation were discussed; and general descriptions of two practical methods suggested. 

The main findings indicate that for making decisions in the context of innovation, organizations must be able to face uncertain and ambiguous situations, and achieve a collective understanding about what is to be done. To do this, different approaches for making decisions and understanding innovation are needed. However, regardless of the appropriateness of these approaches, they receive different levels of acceptance within organizations; and decision makers must deal with the different grades of organizational acceptance of the different approaches. As a consequence, an organization displays certain dynamic using different approaches for making decisions and for understanding innovation. Such dynamic influences the companies’ innovative potential and the output of the innovation process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , 63 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2008:23
Keyword [en]
decision making, innovation, product development, project selection, project portfolio management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9854OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9854DiVA: diva2:133743
Presentation
2008-12-12, Rum A425, KTH, Brinellvägen 83, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101111Available from: 2009-01-14 Created: 2009-01-14 Last updated: 2010-11-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Probe: managing the project portfolio for competitive advantage
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Probe: managing the project portfolio for competitive advantage
2007 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Keyword
project portfolio management, organizational and process perspective, action research, experiental learning, company cases
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9851 (URN)2-s2.0-84862602753 (Scopus ID)
Conference
16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'07
Note
QC 20101111Available from: 2009-01-14 Created: 2009-01-14 Last updated: 2010-11-11Bibliographically approved
2. Innovation and decision making: understanding selection and prioritization of development projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Innovation and decision making: understanding selection and prioritization of development projects
2008 (English)In: 2008 IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY, VOLS 1-3, IEEE , 2008, 333-338 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the problems decision makers experience when selecting and prioritizing new ideas and development projects. It is based on an explorative study, with interviews carried out in three companies that have new product development as a core competitive factor.

The findings indicate that to deal with all the situations and problems that may arise in the innovation process, various approaches for making decisions and understanding innovation are needed. However, regardless of the appropriateness of these approaches for given circumstances, they receive different levels of acceptance at an organizational plane. This puts decision makers in the conflictive situation of sometimes having to use approaches to work that are appropriate but not accepted, and other times accepted but inappropriate. Furthermore, an organization's potential to create new products, and consequently its future competitiveness, depends on how its members deal with the organizational acceptance of the approaches used.

We discuss the implications of these findings for designing work procedures for selecting and prioritizing ideas and projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2008
Keyword
Decision making, innovation, organization, process design, project selection
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9852 (URN)10.1109/ICMIT.2008.4654386 (DOI)000262920500060 ()2-s2.0-56749105376 (Scopus ID)978-1-4244-2329-3 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology, Bangkok, THAILAND, SEP 21-24, 2008
Note
© 2008 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works. QC 20101111Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2009-01-14 Last updated: 2012-09-18Bibliographically approved
3. Designing work procedures for project portfolio management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing work procedures for project portfolio management
2008 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS OF NORDDESIGN 2008 / [ed] Roosimolder, L., TALLINN UNIV TECH , 2008, 285-294 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is about how companies evaluate, select and prioritize ideas and projects for developing new products. This is aimed to align development investments with company's strategic goals and to reduce the risk caused by uncertainty. Research regarding the procedural aspects of PPM is still considered not enough developed. It is needed a better theoretical ground about which organizational processes should be included in PPM, how they influence each other, and how a work procedure should be designed for suiting a specific company. This paper focuses on understanding the characteristics of processes and activities within PPM. It is grounded on an empirical study in three companies based on qualitative research inter-views. It was found that that processes within PPM have five main characteristics: reciprocal influence, parallel running, network of actors, multiple decision levels and decision-realization gap. It is also discussed the implications of these findings for the design of work procedures for PPM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
TALLINN UNIV TECH, 2008
Keyword
Project portfolio management, process design, project selection, resource allocation, product development
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9853 (URN)000260990100028 ()2-s2.0-84859922962 (Scopus ID)978-9985-59-840-5 (ISBN)
Conference
7th NordDesign Conference 2007, Tallinn Univ Technol, Dept Mach, Tallinn, ESTONIA, AUG 21-23, 2008
Note
QC 20101111Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2009-01-14 Last updated: 2012-09-18Bibliographically approved

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