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Process management in R&D - Doom or Salvation for Creativity?
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Integrated Product Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0592-4002
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

R&D organizations of today must constantly seek ways to becomemore efficient in order to stay competitive. To accomplish thismany organizations turn to process management approaches suchas lean product development. But how does the use of processmanagement influence the creativity of the people in theorganization? How will they manage both the creative search andexploration of future opportunities and the efficient exploitation ofcurrent offerings simultaneously? Previous research has shown thatcompanies often fail in this quest and that exploration is at risk ofbeing neglected in favour of exploitation where the feedback andreturn on invested work are more immediate.This thesis sets out to study how the combination of exploration interms of creativity, and exploitation in terms of processmanagement, plays out at Scania, a developer and manufacturer ofheavy trucks. The research builds on data collected by means of aquestionnaire study where a large part of the R&D organizationparticipated. The results reveal surprisingly positive relationshipsbetween process management and creativity. Firstly, the existenceof clear routines showed a positive relationship with several aspectsof ideation. The results, however, stress the importance of havingdynamic routines where the organization is open to changing theexisting routines when needed. Secondly, strong demands ondelivery precision was positively related to the creation of novelideas in the industrialization process. Thirdly, the use of continuousimprovement efforts was positively related to aspects of creativity.These results indicate that routinization can benefit creativity andthat mangers should encourage the mapping and continuousimprovement of routines. Furthermore, goals for innovationinfluence how much time is spent on exploratory activities.Managers with innovation aspirations should therefore make clearto the organization that innovation is an important part of theoperations. Finally, managers and employees should formulatespecific product innovation goals and demand high deliveryprecision also for deliverables of exploratory nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , viii, 69 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2012:20
Keyword [en]
creativity, efficiency, process management, R&D
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-106225ISBN: 978-91-7501-576-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-106225DiVA: diva2:573331
Presentation
2012-12-07, Innovationsstudion/Gladan, Brinellvägen 83, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20121130

Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-30 Last updated: 2012-11-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Slack: a driver of innovation in R&D?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Slack: a driver of innovation in R&D?
2011 (English)In: 12th International CINet conference: Continuous Innovation: Doing more with less, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Reaching an efficient yet innovative R&D organization is key in today’s competitive market. Many firms use inspiration from lean manufacturing methods to reach that goal. A large potential lies in a balanced application of such work methods, but applied in its extreme it may cause more harm than good. In this paper we explore how two central concepts in lean product development; slack and standardization are related to innovation. The quantitative analysis of questionnaire data from an automotive manufacturer with a long history of applying lean inspired work methods reveal an interesting relationship between the investigated variables. It also reveals means for managers to further ensure that slack time is used to its best potential in order to reach innovative products.

Keyword
slack, lean product development, lean, innovation, creativity
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-63318 (URN)
Conference
12th Continuous Innovation Network Conference (CINET), Århus University, Denmark, September 11-13, 2011
Note
QC 20120413Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2012-01-23 Last updated: 2012-11-30Bibliographically approved
2. The delicate coexistence of standardized work routines and innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The delicate coexistence of standardized work routines and innovation
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the 19th International Product Development Management Conference, 2012Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since the emergence of Scientific Management a century ago, standardization of routine tasks has been held forward as an important means to reach high efficiency in many types of operations, with its main advances in manufacturing. Research and Development (R&D), normally of a less repetitive nature than manufacturing, has yet to discover the full potential of standardization, and there are many pitfalls along the way to avoid. With innovation being a fundamental goal of the R&D operations, careful consideration not to harm creative ability and innovation capacity needs to be taken. The results from this study shows that work routines can exist side by side with ideation and autonomy, and even increase the organization’s ability to generate ideas and act on those ideas.

Keyword
Routinization, work routines, creativity, R&D, product development
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105531 (URN)
Conference
19th International Product Development Management Conference, IPDMC, UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, U.K., JUNE 17-19, 2012
Note

QC 20121127

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2012-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. Creativity just in time?: The effects of delivery precision in product development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creativity just in time?: The effects of delivery precision in product development
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the 13th International CINet conference, 2012Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the results from a quantitative study of the product development environment at Scania, a Swedish manufacturer of heavy trucks and buses. The focus of the study has been on exploring the relationship between delivery precision and creativity. Given today’s increasingly competitive market, companies must be able to cut both lead time and time to market while maintaining high creativity and innovativeness in the organization. This study is an attempt to increase our understanding of how one means of cutting lead time, the imposition of high demands on delivery precision, affects the creation of novel ideas in the industrialization phase of product development. The results point to an interesting relationship in which the imposition of high demands on delivery precision actually increases the perception of the creation of novel ideas. The results also have interesting implications for project planning and the role of time dedicated to exploratory tasks in product development.

Keyword
Slack, innovation, delivery precision, creativity, lean
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105534 (URN)
Conference
13th International CINet conference, 16-18 September 2012 - Rome, Italy
Note

QC 20121127

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2015-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Lund, Katarina

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