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Existence of negative innovation-gaps affecting innovation performance in two Swedish SMEs.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2597-8561
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to achieve a deeper understanding of innovation-gaps, found in a previous study according to innovation-audits made by the authors to this paper. Negative innovation-gap is of interest as they might affect innovation-performance within companies and further on Total innovation management (TIM). TIM is a holistic view of innovation, involving a broad representation of employees and functions for which the innovation-gaps could be crucial. This study was made at two Swedish industrial SMEs, 1170 written questions asked to 18 employees, 12 workshops held with two company-specific-groups and one company-mixed-group with senior management. The major findings were “organisational related innovation-gaps”, “individual related innovation-gaps” and several subgroups to both of them, e.g. conflicting incentives and time-related-gaps. The conclusion is to not try to categorise the gaps, but to be aware of them when practicing innovation management, as gaps, when become too big, seems to affect innovation-performance in a negative way. Keywords: innovation workshop; SME; innovation-gap, innovation management; innovation-gap analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13666OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-13666DiVA: diva2:466210
Available from: 2011-12-15 Created: 2011-12-15 Last updated: 2015-06-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Innovation groups: Before innovation work is begun
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Innovation groups: Before innovation work is begun
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This research project was begun during the financial crisis of 2009 with the objective of increasing the competiveness of SMEs’ (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) by developing their innovation-management capabilities. The research presented in this licentiate thesis (thesis) is a part of the project in which newly-formed innovation groups at two SMEs in Eskilstuna, Sweden have been studied before they began innovation work.

Prior research has indicated a need to observe processes within on-going innovation projects. My overall hypothesis that reaches beyond this thesis, is that an innovation group that improves its innovation-related knowledge, reduces knowledge gaps and increases innovation-related awareness, generates positive additional values such as motivation or enthusiasm above the results such as patents or project costs that are traditional measurements within innovation projects.

The first study in the iterative research process focused on the innovation-related knowledge of newly-formed innovation groups. The results led to further immersed studies, in total five case studies, in which 21 respondents participated. A theoretical framework consisting of theories from Knowledge management and System theory was used to analyze the results and the research question of this licentiate thesis emerged as: “What would a model that describes a newly-formed innovation group’s innovation-related knowledge, knowledge gaps, information flow and awareness look like?” Four sub-questions, one per each aspect of the research question, have been used to analyze prior research, theories and the conducted case studies.

A model, Innovation Group Model (IGM), was created according to the research question and goal for this thesis. A one-sentence-explanation could be: “The organization, the innovation group and the individuals must have the opportunity to be motivated to learn innovation management in theory and practice to achieve innovation-readiness and awareness to detect and utilize innovation-related information available within the internal and external information flow.”

This thesis contributes to the research area of Innovation and design with knowledge concerning newly-formed innovation groups. Three practical applications of the research results are suggested; (1) IGM can be used in organizations to understand the complex situation when an innovation group is created. (2) IGM can be used when planning for physical or virtual environments in which an innovation group consisting of professionals and customers is intended to develop or generate ideas. (3) IGM can be used when developing innovation-related audits intended to provide a deeper understanding of a respondent’s knowledge.

On the basis of the results from this licentiate thesis, I suggest further research according to the overall hypothesis. With IGM as a starting point, one could study the progress of innovation groups and where necessary, provide support in specific areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2013
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 164
Keyword
innovation management, innovation group, innovation team, innovation work
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-17990 (URN)978-91-7485-102-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-02-28, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-01-23 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-29Bibliographically approved
2. INNOVATION AUDITING THE AUDIT & THE AUDITOR: (from the perspective of the internal auditor)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>INNOVATION AUDITING THE AUDIT & THE AUDITOR: (from the perspective of the internal auditor)
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are many innovation audits that aim to contribute to increased innovativeness through systematic monitoring and review. In line with this the purpose of this study is to build knowledge that increases both the academic and the practical user-value of innovation audits.

Previous research in the innovation audit area is mainly focused on the audit tool and to some extent the auditing process, with a strong bias towards what to audit, rarely addressing more than just the measuring- and assessment phases. Most audits involve internal staff in audit-related work such as self-assessments, and thus employees from the audited organisation can also be regarded as internal auditors (executors). Previous research indicates that the ability of the internal auditor impacts the audit’s execution and that the audit design affects how auditor-demanding the execution of the audit becomes. Despite this there is very little research that concerns the internal auditor’s role in the auditing process.

To better understand how the abilities of individual internal auditors affect the audit process, I formulated two questions for the licentiate thesis: What types of shortcomings in the audit process are influenced by deficient auditor maturity? and What are the consequences of these shortcomings on the audit process? The concept of auditor maturity is here used familiarly to describe the internal auditors’ level of ability to independently perform their auditing tasks in an appropriate manner without any further support than what is provided by the audit tool.

The empirical data were collected in two qualitative case studies with 21 participants from two SMEs. 92 written questionnaire and 23 interviews were conducted and complemented by a literature review. My use of two subdivisions of the audit process is central to the thesis and to my knowledge not previously used: firstly the division into three phases: the pre-assessment phase, the assessment phase and the post-assessment phase, and secondly the division into three parts: the audit (the tool), the auditor (the executor) and the auditing (the execution). The analytical focus is on shortcomings in the internal auditors’ ability to execute their auditing tasks.

Several shortcomings in this respect were identified and can be grouped based on the following characteristics: Conceptual, Contextual, Auditor interaction, Strategic & operational and Adaption.

The main contribution of this research is by highlighting the internal auditor’s role in the audit process, to discuss all the phases of the process and to introduce the perspectives of audit, auditor and auditing under the unifying concept of the audit process.

Abstract [en]

Det finns många innovations-audits som syftar till ökad innovativitet genom systematisk mätning och granskning. I linje med det är den här studiens syfte att bygga kunskap som ökar både den akademiska och den praktiska användarnyttan av innovations-audits.

Det finns mycket tidigare forskning inom området innovations-auditering med en stark övervikt mot vad som ska auditeras och berör ofta inte mer än själva mät- och skattnings-fasen. De flesta audits involverar i hög grad intern personal i det audit-relaterade arbetet med att t.ex. utföra självskattningar och förändringsplanering. Det innebär att personal från den auditerade organisationen kan betraktas som interna auditors. I tidigare forskning finns tydliga tecken på att den interna auditorns (utföraren) förmåga påverkar auditerings-arbetet och att auditens utformning påverkar hur krävande auditerings-utförandet blir för auditorn. Trots detta berör ytterst lite forskning den interna auditorns roll i audit-processen.

För att bättre förstå hur enskilda interna auditors förmågor påverkar audit-processen formulerade jag två frågor i lic-avhandlingen: Vilka typer av tillkortakommanden i audit-processen påverkas av otillräcklig auditor-mognad? och Vilka följder får dessa tillkortakommanden på audit-processen? Begreppet auditor-mognad används här på ett vardagligt sätt för att beskriva nivån av den interna auditorns förmåga att självständigt utföra sina auditeringsuppgifter på ett ändamålsenligt sätt - utan att behöva ytterligare stöd än det som ges i audit-verktyget.

Empiri har samlats in i två kvalitativa case-studier med totalt 21 deltagare från två SME företag. 92 skriftliga enkäter och 23 intervjuer har genomförts och kompletterats med en litteraturstudie. Centralt för avhandlingen är mitt val att använda två uppdelningar av audit-processen som vad jag vet inte använts tidigare. Den första delar auditeringen i tre faser; för-mätningsfasen, mätfasen och efter-mätningsfasen. Den andra delar processen i tre delar: auditen som är verktyget, auditorn är genomföraren och auditeringen är utförandeprocessen. Analys fokus är tillkortakommanden i den interna auditorns förmåga att genomföra sina audit-uppgifter.

Ett flertal tillkortakommanden i auditorns förmåga att utföra sina audit uppgifter identifierades och kan grupperas utifrån följande karaktärsdrag; Konceptuella, Kontextuella, Auditor interaktion, Strategisk och operationell samt Anpassning.

Forskningens främsta akademiska och praktiska bidrag är att lyfta och tydliggöra den interna auditerns roll i audit-processen, att modellera och diskutera processens samtliga faser samt att föra in de tre perspektiven audit, auditor och auditing under det sammanhållande begreppet audit-process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 191
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27146 (URN)978-91-7485-181-6 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-03-09, room Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-12-19 Created: 2014-12-19 Last updated: 2015-11-16Bibliographically approved

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