mdh.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Exploring Purposeful use of Innovation Self-assessments
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (Human Organizing in Entreprenuership, Innovation and Quality Management)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2597-8561
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Innovation management is a multidimensional practice characterized by the requirement of a constant renewal to maintain an organization’s relative innovativeness. A practice highly characterized by a requirement to handle uncertainty, risk, and long lead times, which requires an active management of both the prerequisites of today and a yet-undefined future. Therefore, it is of little surprise that the so-called “innovation audits,” with their purpose of direct or indirect improvement are often considered a vital part of innovation management practices. This thesis focuses on the internal self-assessment use of such audits by organizations to self-assess their current state of innovativeness against indicators of good practice or their own prior state. The purpose of such innovation audits is to reveal gaps between the current and desired state, which the organization can use to develop improvement activities.

Substantial empirical and theoretical research on innovation audits exists, which focuses primarily on the development of the audit itself, but seldom on enacting audits that lead to desired improvements. Much innovation audit research discusses the areas to assess and the development of different types of indicators, statements, and framework, which represents these assessment areas. The problem is that no matter how well the indicators identify possible improvement areas or gaps between current and desired states, it still says very little about integrating retrieved information into activities that actually lead to the desired improvements.

This thesis takes a process perspective on the undertaking of an innovation self-assessment audit (ISA). Rather than examining what to assess and how to use the result, it focuses on the undertaking of an ISA as an improvement process in itself. The overall objective is to contribute to the understanding of why a purposeful use of ISA emerges (or does not emerge). To this end, this thesis collects empirical data about ISA use and its context from qualitative case studies, involving 14 self-assessment groups from 9 different organizations. The findings from these studies is presented in the six appended papers that address different perspectives on ISA use and contextual prerequisites.

To better understand why a purposeful use of ISA emerges (or does not), it was necessary to bring the appended papers together and undertake a more focused discussion on ISA use as a process in its entirety. Therefore, this thesis recontextualizes the six appended papers against a new theoretical framework based on theories on processes, complex adaptive systems (CAS), and competence-in-use.

The theoretical discussion in this thesis offers several contributions. First, by approaching the undertaking of ISA as an improvement process, it focuses on the continuity of the process, which in turn allows a distinction between the execution of the process and the enabling of this execution. Second, the enactment of purposeful use is related to knowledge about the focus area of the assessment (e.g. innovation culture or capabilities) and the current state being assessed. Together, these create the basis for the theorization of a four-dimensional ISA competence-in-use that impacts how ISA can be purposefully enacted. Overall, the main reason why purposeful use emerges (or does not) does not seem to be so much about having a high ISA competence-in-use, as having high correspondence between expectations and competence-in-use.

Together, this contributes to an increased understanding of why purposeful use emerges (or does not), making this its primary contribution within the field of innovation management. The focus on self-assessment use as an improvement process embedded in the organizational context it intends to improve, does give a more general relevance to the discussion on improvement processes, and the use of self-assessment audits outside the field of innovation management.

The contribution of this thesis is closely related to the use of ISA and can be used to support the process of planning and undertaking an ISA. This thesis also contributes to knowledge on ISA competence-in-use, which can guide practical choices in undertaking an ISA for more purposeful use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University , 2020.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 305
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-46325ISBN: 978-91-7485-454-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-46325DiVA, id: diva2:1378338
Public defence
2020-02-13, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-12-13 Last updated: 2020-01-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Interview Supported Innovation Audit: how does a complementary interview affect the understanding of an innovation audits results when the interview is based on the audit statements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interview Supported Innovation Audit: how does a complementary interview affect the understanding of an innovation audits results when the interview is based on the audit statements
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

SMEs tend to lack the ability of sustainable development through cost-effective and repeated innovation. One way to find out a current innovation state is to run a self-assessment innovation audit, which are well used but got critics to not show reliable results The authors formed research question: How might a complementary interview affect the understanding of the result of the innovation audit when the interview is based on the same statements used in the audit? The study was conducted at two Swedish SMEs with a mix of management and personnel. 21 respondents at both companies answered 840 audit-statements and equal amount of interview questions rephrased from a “how-perspective”. 4 audit-statements were left blank and 103 interview questions were answered, “I don't know”. A great differ in the understanding appeared and the conclusion was that a selfassessment innovation audit might not show reliable results conducted without a complementing interview.

Keywords
innovation audit; interview support; SME; method; gap
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13129 (URN)
Conference
ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management
Available from: 2011-10-13 Created: 2011-10-13 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Direct and Indirect Innovation Integration in Swedish SMEs Business Strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Direct and Indirect Innovation Integration in Swedish SMEs Business Strategy
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Innovation is a central strategic issue for companies who wants to repeatedlyinnovative and build long-term competitiveness. Research stresses the importance of strong linkages between innovation and the strategic orientation of a company. Despite that does both research and experience show that SME:s often have a short-term focus on results and are low-risk oriented towards incremental innovations or show a reactive, non-strategic approach towardsinnovation. This case study survey to what extent innovation is an, direct or indirect, integrated part of a SME:s overall business strategy. The case study was conducted at one Swedish SME in three stages with 10 participants with broad representation of management and employees from the entire company. Innovation was found to be strongly centred to the persons of top management, have strong informal linkages to top levels of formal business strategy but with weak integration at practical action oriented levels of strategy.

Keywords
Strategic innovation; Strategic Integration; Business Strategy; Innovation management; SME
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27151 (URN)
Conference
The 4th ISPIM Innovation Symposium - Managing Innovation for Sustained Productivity: Creating Advantage and Resilience - Wellington, New Zealand
Available from: 2014-12-19 Created: 2014-12-19 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. The importance of skill and experience in innovation auditing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of skill and experience in innovation auditing
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Innovation auditing is by both academia and practitioners considered to be important for differentpurposes such as increased innovativeness and a multitude of auditing tools and methods exist. Majority of these doto some extent use best practice and most provides explicate judgment criteria why their dependence of theauditors’ skill and experience is relatively low. A literature review was conducted to deepen the understanding ofhow the auditors’ skill and experience is considered in current innovation audit literature. Only a few were found toaddress the issue explicitly but a majority contained examples of situations where skill or experience of the auditoraffected the audit process. Innovation auditing doesn’t only seem to provide a base for increased innovativenessand maturation but also requires auditing maturity.

Keywords
Skill and Experience; Innovation; Auditing, Assessment; Measure; Review; Audit-process; Best Practice; Auditing maturity; Assessment maturity
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27153 (URN)
Conference
The 6th ISPIM Innovation Symposium - Innovation in the Asian Century - Melbourne, Australia
Available from: 2014-12-19 Created: 2014-12-19 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Assessment and Support?: AiR - A Pilot Project on Support Systems for Innovation in Automation Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment and Support?: AiR - A Pilot Project on Support Systems for Innovation in Automation Industry
2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Various methods to assess innovation are used in companies and organizations. Audits provide little support for day to day use and few explicitly address how companies can benefit from the audit results in terms of e.g. how to learn, formulate goals and operationalization. Based on a concrete example, this paper explores how innovation assessment can be considered a tripartite audit process designed to support learning and give an increased cultural support for innovation. In the paper the audit process will be discussed from the perspectives of what, who and how. 'What' address the tool and assessment area, 'who' focus on the people that participates in the assessment process and 'how' on the very assessment execution. The awareness of the notion 'innovation' among the 70 industrial companies in the Automation Region Network in mid-Sweden are typically low, and as a response to that a pilot study project Automation Innovation Region (AiR) started in 2012 to develop support for innovation. During one year 2014/2015, employees in five companies (N=44) participated in the study. The project developed a process, AiR Innowatch (Innowatch), combining a photo-based workshop on innovation, three workshops with themes on innovation climate, a web based weekly assessment tool, and a quarterly survey. The tools focus on innovation culture (what), the process highlights reflection, learning and integration (how) on assessment results from the perspective of individual, group and organisational (who) perspective. The goal was to design a learning based audit process that supports the companies to independently continue their work for increased innovativeness after the formal assessment process. This paper present the tools developed and the results from the pilot study as a base for discussion on auditing as a tool that supports learning and development of an organisational culture for increased innovativeness in established organisations. 

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33448 (URN)10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.06.415 (DOI)000380509900013 ()
Conference
World Conference on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, MAY 28-30, 2015, Istanbul, TURKEY
Available from: 2016-10-21 Created: 2016-10-21 Last updated: 2019-12-13
5. Let us measure, then what?: Exploring purposeful use of innovation management self-assessments.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Let us measure, then what?: Exploring purposeful use of innovation management self-assessments.
Show others...
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 36, no 10, p. 1734-1749Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding regarding how managers attempt to make purposeful use of innovation management self-assessments (IMSA) and performance information (PI).

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretative perspective on purposeful use is used as an analytical framework, and the paper is based on empirical material from two research projects exploring the use of IMSA and PI in three case companies. Based on the empirical data, consisting of interviews and observations of workshops and project meetings, qualitative content analysis has been conducted.

Findings

The findings of this paper indicate that how managers achieve a purposeful use of PI is related to their approach toward how to use the specific PI at hand, and two basic approaches are analytically separated: a rule-based approach and a reflective approach. Consequently, whether or not the right thing is being measured also becomes a question of how the PI is actually being interpreted and used. Thus, the extensive focus on what to measure and how to measure it becomes edgeless unless equal attention is given to how managers are able to use the PI to make knowledgeable decisions regarding what actions to take to achieve the desired changes.

Practical implications

Given the results, it comes with a managerial responsibility to make sure that all managers who are supposed to be engaged in using the PI are given roles in the self-assessments that are aligned with the level of knowledge they possess, or can access.

Originality/value

How managers purposefully use PI is a key to understand the potential impact of self-assessments.

Keywords
Competence, Self-assessment, Follow-up, Performance information, Interpretative perspective, Purposeful use
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-46313 (URN)10.1108/IJQRM-09-2018-0243 (DOI)000490142800005 ()2-s2.0-85074296038 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-12-13 Created: 2019-12-13 Last updated: 2020-02-19Bibliographically approved
6. The Importance of Taking a Process Perspective on the Use and Application of an Innovation Management Self-Assessment Audit
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Importance of Taking a Process Perspective on the Use and Application of an Innovation Management Self-Assessment Audit
(English)In: Journal of Innovation Management, E-ISSN 2183-0606Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Prior research on innovation management self-assessment audits (IMSA) has a strong focus on the assessment situation, primarily on what to assess. However, several additional tasks are necessary to make purposeful use of an IMSA. This study analyzes the undertaking of an IMSA from a process perspective to better understand IMSA’s utilization by looking at how people participate in the process and how the process is integrated in an organizational context. This study adopted an interactive research approach and collected data over a period of 27 months in 45 interviews, six workshops, and 10 meetings with 42 different participants from three companies. Results show a fragmented participation, and that the process was only partly integrated into the organizational context, making it arbitrarily dependent on individual actors. This demonstrates the need to understand challenges related to IMSA use to enable a process that is integrated in the structures intended to be improved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helena Blackbright
Keywords
Assessment Process, Innovation Assessment, Innovation Audit, IMSA, IMSA-process, Process, Complexity, Discontinuity, Innovation, Innovation Management, Internal Assessor, Assessor
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-46314 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-13 Created: 2019-12-13 Last updated: 2020-03-24Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(2914 kB)28 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 2914 kBChecksum SHA-512
180788fa0e47146efc08fc0db59ce38539e351fc847346b6c313ea421dec1ef6ea03967e1fa7f15766fb7f7b18058661328655a7af7237b9a2fe9ca446ca0d26
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Blackbright, Helena
By organisation
Innovation and Product Realisation
Economics and Business

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 28 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 143 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf