The Climate for Creativity and Innovation in the Fuzzy Front End of Innovation: A Case Study at Arla Foods
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Klimatet för kreativitet och innovation i fuzzy front end : En fallstudie på Arla Foods (Swedish)
Innovation is a key factor for economic development and growth, and firms need to continuously innovate in order to stay competitive. However, innovation is complicated in today’s markets as there are many different aspects for companies to manage. The very first phase of innovation, the fuzzy front end (FFE), is critical and this phase presents one of the greatest opportunities of improvement for the overall innovation process. Yet, the research on this phase is limited. The new product development (NPD) and the FFE are different from each other and require different ways of thinking and working. The FFE is the phase that takes place before the structured NPD phase and it aims to develop a sustainable flow of ideas. All innovations are born as creative ideas and creativity is the production of new and useful ideas. Many stress the importance of the environmental variable climate as important for creativity and innovation.
This thesis is a case study which aimed to investigate the climate for creativity and innovation at an innovation department at Arla Foods Sweden. The innovation department is working successfully with NPD but lately, the ideas that the innovation department has produced have been rather few and not good enough for the results they want to achieve. Therefore, this case study had the overall goal to find improvements areas regarding the climate for creativity and innovation in the FFE.
In order to investigate the climate an established instrument, a questionnaire, was utilized. This gave an initial diagnosis of the climate for creativity and innovation at the department. Thereafter, interviews were carried out with each of the members of the department to gain in- depth understanding of the current climate. Additional interviews at Arla Foods were carried out to provide the results with a wider picture. Moreover two projects which took place in the FFE were observed to get insight of how professional consultants work with creating a favorable climate. The two managers of these projects were also interviewed.
The results of this thesis revealed that the current climate is relatively favorable for working in the NPD while it is not favorable for the FFE. Thus, it was indicated that additional requirements are placed on a climate that are to be favorable for creativity and innovation in the FFE. For this specific case study, a number of dimensions (risk taking, idea time, dynamism/liveliness, playfulness/humor, idea support and encouragement, debates, and discussion) and underlying factors (input and inspiration, idea process, and clarity) that could be improved at the Innovation department were identified.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 68 p.
Examensarbete INDEK, 2013:55
fuzzy front end, climate for creativity and innovation, Arla Foods
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124104OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-124104DiVA: diva2:632860
Master of Science - Industrial Engineering and Management