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Managing the fuzzy front-end: insights from process firms
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1460-1060, E-ISSN 1758-7115, Vol. 14, no 2, 252-269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to inform researchers and practitioners about the fuzzy front-end (FFE) of the innovation process in process firms. Design/methodology/approach – A multiple case study of four process firms was conducted, with a total of 64 semi-structured interviews. Findings – The paper gives new insights into the FFE in non-assembled product and process development in process firms. The FFE of non-assembled product and process development is first conceptualized and key activities are identified. Further, how the strong relationship between product and process development can be managed in the FFE is discussed. Research limitations/implications – All four firms are from the mineral and metals industry, prompting caution when generalizing the results to other contexts. This research offers insights about the FFE in process firms. Theoretical implications are added to the existing literature on the FFE and general process development literature, and the paper increases our understanding of innovation management in general. Practical implications – From a practical point of view, the paper gives advice on how managers in process firms can increase speed and clarity in the FFE. The conceptualizations and the identified front-end key activities are suggested as checklists for improving the FFE stage. Originality/value – This study compares how the FFE within two different types of innovations is conceptualized and managed. Thus, the FFE in non-assembled product and process development is explored. The FFE of process development is an unexplored context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 2, 252-269 p.
Keyword [en]
Business / Economics - Business studies
Keyword [sv]
Product Development, Management Control, Ekonomi - Företagsekonomi
Research subject
Accounting and Control
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-11552DOI: 10.1108/14601061111124911Local ID: a8ded140-0822-11e0-b767-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:984502
Validerad; 2011; 20101215 (monika_k)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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