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Innovation and decision making: understanding selection and prioritization of development projects
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.
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.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4488-1028
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. 333-338 p.
Keyword [en]
Decision making, innovation, organization, process design, project selection
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9852DOI: 10.1109/ICMIT.2008.4654386ISI: 000262920500060Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-56749105376ISBN: 978-1-4244-2329-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9852DiVA: diva2:133739
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
In thesis
1. Decision making in innovation: understanding selection and prioritizaiton of development projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decision making in innovation: understanding selection and prioritizaiton of development projects
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
decision making, innovation, product development, project selection, project portfolio management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9854 (URN)
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
2. Evaluation and selection of ideas and projects in product development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation and selection of ideas and projects in product development
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Product development has become an important competitive factor for most companies. A central task is to select which projects, often from a large number of project proposals, are to be developed in order to achieve strategic objectives without exceeding available resources. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the research discipline which focuses on the decision-making processes used to evaluate, select and prioritise projects. Previous research has stated that companies must be able to select and commit resources to different types of ideas and projects. However, it is widely believed that PPM literature has not sufficiently investigated the challenges that companies might face when putting into practice different decision-making approaches to select different types of ideas and projects.

This thesis aims to explore how different types of ideas and projects are evaluated and selected in the context of the development of complex technological products. It is based on a qualitative research approach and interviews and observations have been carried out with the cooperation of six companies.

The findings of this thesis reveal that because different decision-making approaches encounter different levels of acceptance within an organisation, the dynamics by which an idea evolves are affected by the way in which decision makers deal with the legitimacy of the decision-making approaches that they put into practice. Decision makers use some mechanisms that allow them to avoid drawing exclusively on the highly accepted approaches when they are not considered to be suitable, and to give legitimacy to the decisions that have been made by the less accepted approaches. In addition, the way in which decision makers experience a decision situation influences how it is approached. If they experience ambiguity, they might display a decision-making logic in which actions are allowed to be taken within self-organised social interactions, in order to make sense of the idea, project or criteria. However, the occurrence of self-organised interactions is conditioned by how decision makers negotiate resources with stakeholders that display different interests and decision-making logics.

These findings question the objective view that assumes that ideas and projects are already defined at the moment the decision is made and are able to be classified in pre-defined categories. It also led to the question of whether problems in fulfilling resource allocation plans and the risk of biases in decision making are problems that arise due to poor decision-making practices, and whether they should, instead, be understood as probable consequences of a flexible process.

Finally, this thesis explores a way of enhancing decision makers’ abilities through scenarios in which decision makers experience decision situations and reflect on their own ways of making decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 85 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2012:15
Keyword
decision making, product development, project evalaution, project portfolio management, project selection
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102388 (URN)978-91-7501-453-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-28, Sal Gladan, Brinellvägen 85, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20120918

Available from: 2012-09-18 Created: 2012-09-14 Last updated: 2012-09-18Bibliographically approved

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