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Team based innovation: early problem setting activities in engineering design
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing firms’ attention to innovations and the innovation process has during the last decade gained in intensity of interest. One trigger for such an interest is that these companies have extended their business models towards an integrated product-service approach, where the introduction of a service perspective in early development challenges the traditionally temporary formative nature of processes. This new business model of Product-Service Systems (PSS) puts an emphasis on delivering added value to the customer: instead of providing goods the manufacturing firm should provide a service based solution. This does not mean that they stop producing physical goods, but rather that more service aspects should be considered by the engineering team in the planning and design of the goods. When the ownership of the physical goods stays within the firm it is through a challenge and an opportunity to provide “what the user wants” and, at the same time, what is beneficial for the firm. Hence, an innovative and dynamic organisation is desirable. Typically, in product development the team consists of engineers that are domain experts, but novices when it comes to understanding services and often in interpreting customer information. For a firm to create product-service solutions that meet customer needs, innovation and creativity within the early development processes are important (thus the aspects that have gained an increased interest among manufacturing firms). Product development is commonly viewed as an innovative process, though the degree of innovation is usually low (i.e. incremental improvements of the goods). The integration of services into early development could be perceived as radically challenging such an innovation process. The purpose in this thesis is to improve the understanding of development teams working with PSS innovation. This is done in order to facilitate discussion of the challenges for a firm to shift into a product-service process. The empirical data in this study comes from a business-to-business company in the aeronautical industry, but also from student innovation projects. The focus for the study is how teams collaborate in early phases of innovation projects. The qualitative data was generated by performing both observations and interviews. The results indicate not only the importance of heterogeneous teams in the innovation process but also the lack of a sufficient approach for innovative PSS development. Because of this, new tools and methods are vital, but this is not to ignore how traditional tools and methods can be reused and retro-fitted into such a process. Further, the results indicate that personal motivation has an impact on how teams perform innovation activities. This could have the implication that, for example, a goal-oriented engineer surrounded by similarly motivated teammates could more likely fail in interpreting customer information because none of them is likely to assign importance to that information. Therefore, to support engineers to provide product-service solutions not only methods and tools, but also training for how to perform and reflect on user needs could be necessary. KeywordsProduct-Service Systems, Team Based Innovation, Radical Innovation, User oriented design, Engineering design

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2010. , 41 p.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Research subject
Functional Product Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26015Local ID: c3136d60-f250-11df-8b36-000ea68e967bISBN: 978-91-7439-190-9OAI: diva2:999173
Godkänd; 2010; 20101117 (johwen); ICENTIATSEMINARIUM Ämnesområde: Funktionella produkter/Functional Product Development Examinator: Professor Tobias Larsson, Luleå tekniska universitet Diskutant: Assistant Professor Anna Öhrwall Rönnbäck, Linköpings universitet Tid: Måndag den 20 december 2010 kl 10.00 Plats: E631 Studion, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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