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Managing Radical Innovation and Environmental Challenges: Development of a Dry Capacitor at ABB
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Integrated Product Development.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Integrated Product Development.
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1460-1060, E-ISSN 1758-7115, Vol. 11, no 2, 182-198 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the driving forces for taking environmental considerations to a higher level in a project involving radical innovation.

Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative case study is based on ten in-depth interviews with respondents from the development team for the DryQ project at ABB.

Findings – In order to achieve substantial environmental benefits, radical product development is essential. Radical product development has attributes that differ from those of incremental product development. It is important that these differences be acknowledged when preparing to manage environmental challenges in development projects. In radical product development, environmental considerations should be taken into account very early on, at the strategic level of the design process.  Setting challenging environmental targets and rewarding environmental improvements was crucial to the outcome of the project presented in this paper.

Research limitations/implications – The research presented here describes one case in one manufacturing company. Readers can, however, learn from this case and apply the insights gained to their own research or use the findings to promote new thinking in their own organisation.

Practical implications – Suggestions are made about how to manage environmental considerations in radical product development.

Originality/value – Few studies combine ecodesign and radical innovation theories, as is done here. Yet this is not a theoretical paper but an industry-based study of eco-innovation, from which researchers and practitioners can learn.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 11, no 2, 182-198 p.
Keyword [en]
Innovation, Environmental management, Product design, Operations and production management
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5471DOI: 10.1108/14601060810869857Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-43049114602OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-5471DiVA: diva2:9845
Note
Updated from Submitted to Published. QC 20111219Available from: 2006-03-14 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modernising ecodesign: ecodesign for innovative solutions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modernising ecodesign: ecodesign for innovative solutions
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The focus of environmental work in manufacturing companies has increasingly shifted from end-of-pipe solutions to the environmental performance of products and services. The product development process is central to creating value for customers. This thesis argues that companies can simultaneously create value for consumers and be profitable while taking environmental considerations into account.

Modernising ecodesign means taking advantage of environmental benefits and the innovation potential when developing solutions rather than using ecodesign simply to ensure that legal requirements or customer demands are met. Ecodesign is a strategic issue and should be included in early product development activities, such as for project selection and when setting product targets. There is also need to perform ecodesign according to the characteristics of specific development processes as for radical product development or when developing integrated solutions, using a combination of services and products.

This thesis reports on the findings from five different research studies, all of which adopted a qualitative approach in which the emphasis falls on exploring and creating understanding and meaning. The studies focused on three areas of ecodesign: A) rethinking approaches for manufacturing companies, B) setting environmental project targets and project selection and C) redesign of products.

Recommendations on how to modernise ecodesign have been developed and can be summarised in six points:

• Perform ecodesign both vertically and horizontally in a company.

• Increase interaction between organisational units.

• Take advantage of innovation potential in products, services, user behaviour and the delivery and take-back systems.

• Take environmental considerations into account in the project selection process.

• Set environmental targets for ensuring that environmental considerations are taken when developing innovative solutions.

• Develop ecodesign procedures that fit the characteristics of the development process

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Maskinkonstruktion, 2006
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2006:05
Keyword
ecodesign, design for environment, product development, integrated solutions, product service systems
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3878 (URN)
Public defence
2006-03-24, Sal D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-03-14 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2012-03-22
2. Product development with a focus on integration of environmental aspects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Product development with a focus on integration of environmental aspects
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Environmental awareness has increased during the past 2-3 decades, and companies have gone from simply following legislation to adding environmental considerations into their business plans. The ongoing developments make it interesting to study how leading companies integrate environmental considerations into their product development processes.

The aim of this thesis is to study how environmental considerations can be integrated into the product development process. It is based on studies made in the Swedish manufacturing industry. The research has used both quantitative and qualitative methods. The foundation for the conclusion was derived from the four different studies building this thesis.

The aggregated conclusion from the studies suggests a conceptual model consisting of four cornerstones that should be addressed in order to ease the integration of environmental concerns: the management, product development process, DfE Mindset, and DfE Tools. The development of this model has its foundation in industrial case studies that show how leading companies have integrated environmental considerations in an innovative way.

Combined with the conceptual model is a discussion concerning the usage of existing tools and how sub-activities carried out within the development process are less formal than before. This non-rigid structure is in line with what is suggested in current innovation research for radical innovation, since it enables creativity to flourish and does not limit designers. This freedom of action for the creativity of the personnel in the projects has raised the environmental work to a new level.

The thesis also suggests how to use analytical and dialogue-based tools in a development project. It is beneficial to have a dialogue tool in the beginning of a project and in a radical innovation project, while it is beneficial to have an analytical tool later on in a project if more that one tool is used or in an incremental innovation project.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2007. x, 102 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2007:01
Keyword
Product development process, innovation, integration, environmental considerations, DfE Tools, DfE Mindset, product developmen
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4289 (URN)
Public defence
2007-03-07, F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100820.Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved

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