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Tool complexes of innovation:: Spaces for explorative innovation in four manufacturing industrial companies
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR Innovation och Design (Design Inspired Innovation))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0012-7127
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9057-0063
2014 (English)In: DRS 2014, Design´s big debates: Pushing the boundaries of design Research / [ed] Design Research Society, Umeå, 2014, 663-676 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Providing an environment in which both radical innovation and continuous improvement can exist, i.e. an ambidextrous environment, is one of the biggest challenges manage­ment faces. While having an ambidextrous organisation is of central importance to the competitive advantage of a firm, there is limited understanding of how to manage it.

In this article, we are reporting on our research on the design of workspaces and the relations between design and ambidexterity in innovation. We studied the workspaces as artefacts in innovation cultures. We analysed relations between users and spaces that could enable an explorative innovation culture to emerge, and found spaces related to explorative innovation that coexisted with an exploitative innovation culture in production in the manufacturing industry.

The results indicate that to develop ambidexterity on an individual level in a culture dominated by exploitative innovation, one strategy is spatial differentiation. The result shows that artefacts relating to a culture for explorative innovation in the studied manufacturing companies are artefacts in a marginalised culture. We present six spatial characteristics for artefacts in the marginalised culture: undercover spaces, grey zone spaces, satellite spaces, chameleon spaces, temporal spaces and accession spaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå, 2014. 663-676 p.
Keyword [en]
Innovation, Workspace design, Emergence, Manufacturing Industry
Keyword [sv]
Innovation, arbetsplatsens utformning, produktionsindustri
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25356OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25356DiVA: diva2:727632
Conference
DRS 2014 Design’s Big Debates, June 16-19, Umeå, Sweden
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2014-10-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spaces for innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spaces for innovation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Rum för innovation
Abstract [en]

Workspace design, as an enabling factor in innovation, is an emerging topic for innovation and design research. However, little research has been done on users’ experience on workspaces for innovation in a manufacturing industrial context. The aim of the dissertation is to develop knowledge and understanding of workspaces for innovation from a user perspective.

The dissertation is based on studies done in four manufacturing industries and in one design and innovation consultancy, with a focus on the employees' experience of the physical space in relation to innovation. The research method used was the photo elicitation interview. The 31 participants made photographs that served as a basis for verbal interviews to communicate the relationship they experienced between their workspace and innovation. The analysis and the interpretation of the material, supported by information, cultural and phenomenological theoretical perspectives, intend to contribute to the current scientific discourse in innovation and design.

A pattern was found in the results. In the manufacturing industrial companies, the majority of workspaces that users described as supporting or hindering innovation were motifs showing aculture promoting innovation in small steps. Their examples were found to be in close similarity to what previous research describe as characteristics of exploitative innovation. In the design company, the most photographed motifs were workspaces and objects that supported different variations of what previousresearch defines as characteristics for a culture supporting radical, explorative innovation.

The dissertation presents results contributing to the research on ambidexterity, with focus on a possible coexistence between different innovation cultures. The results indicate that spatial differentiation creates possibilities for coexistence between the two innovation cultures. Six spatial characteristics were found in the descriptions of the workspaces related to the marginalised explorative culture in the manufacturing companies.

The dissertation discusses the possibilities of creating spaces for explorative innovation (SEIs) and space as a tool for innovation. An initial version of a support for design is presented.

Abstract [sv]

Att skapa en miljö där både radikal innovation och stegvisa förbättringar kan utvecklas, det vill säga en ambidextruös miljö, är en av de största utmaningarna för ett företag eller en organisation. En ambidextruös miljö är en stor konkurrensfördel, men kunskaperna om hur man utvecklar och bygger upp en sådan är begränsade. Detsamma gäller hur arbetsplatsen formges på ett sätt som stödjer olika innovationskulturer, både för radikal innovation och inkrementell innovation. Arbetsplatsen och dess relation till innovation från ett användarperspektiv är ett förbisett område inom forskningen.

Syftet med den här avhandlingen är att utveckla kunskap om vad den dagliga arbetsplatsen har för förbindelse till innovation från ett användarperspektiv. Avhandlingen bygger på fyra studier inom tillverkningsindustrin samt en studie på ett designföretag med fokus på medarbetarnas upplevelse av arbetsplatsen i relation till innovation. I intervjumetoden ingick att de anställda fotograferade sina arbetsplatser. Fotografierna användes sedan som underlag för intervjuer.

I resultaten fanns ett mönster: i produktionsindustrin var platser för ett ständigt förbättringsarbete också de platser som uppfattades stödja innovation. Undantagen var få. På designföretaget exemplifierade de flesta fotograferade och beskrivna miljöerna olika varianter på en radikal, utforskande innovationskultur. Resultatet visade att de platser som kunde tolkas tillhöra en kultur för radikal, utforskande innovation var artefakter i en marginaliserad kultur i de studerade industriföretagen. Resultatet indikerade att en samexistens mellan olika innovationskulturer i en kultur som domineras av exploaterande innovation (industriföretagen) möjliggjordes på individuell nivå av rumslig differentiering. Analysen av materialet pekar på sex karakteristika i beskrivningen av användningen och upplevelsen av platser som kan samexistera och stödja en kultur för radikal innovation i kulturer som domineras av inkrementell innovation: Täckmantelplatser, Gråzoner, Satellitplatser, Kameleontplatser,Tillfälliga platser och Anslutningsplatser. Dessutom visade resultatet att användare beskriver påverkan av flera modaliteter i sin upplevelse och förståelse av en arbetsplats som stödjer eller hindrar innovation.

Resultatet analyserades och tolkades med hjälp av tidigare forskning och begrepp från fenomenologi, informationsteori och kulturteori vilket bidrar till diskussionen om vad rum för innovation kan vara i den dynamik som uppstår i mötet mellananvändaren, den vardagliga arbetsplatsen och innovation. Som ett resultat av analysen presenteras i avhandlingen ett förslag till designsupport formulerat som inlägg i en diskussion kring hur arbetsplatsen kan stödja olika innovationskulturers samexistens. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2014
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 163
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25031 (URN)978-91-7485-155-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Filen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationVinnova
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved

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