Varjonen 2006 Innovation Management

Topics: Innovation, Technology, Research Pages: 89 (23684 words) Published: March 16, 2015
HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Development and Management in Industry

Virpi Varjonen

Management of Early Phases in Innovation Process
A Case Study of Commercializing Technology in a Small Enterprise

Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering
Turku, June 28th 2006

Supervisor: Professor Mikko Mustakallio
Instructor: Patricia Wiklund, M. Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.)

HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

ABSTRACT OF THE MASTER´S THESIS

Industrial Engineering and Management
Author: Virpi Varjonen
Subject of the thesis: Management of Early Phases in Innovation Process; A Case Study of Commercializing Technology in a Small Enterprise Number of pages: 89

th

Date: June 28 , 2006

Library location: TU

Professorship: Development and Management in Industry

Code of professorship: TU-117

Supervisor: Professor Mikko Mustakallio
Instructor: Patricia Wiklund, M. Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.)
Innovation management concerns the management of all activities in the process from idea generation to its successful commercial and practical application, named innovation. Managing the innovation process is a challenging task and the more technology is involved in the process, the more complex and uncertain it gets. Although small enterprises are significant developers of new technologies, they have, however, seldom been the object of innovation studies. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to better understand the innovation management in small enterprises and especially in the early phases of the technological innovation process. This study focuses on the key management areas, the main obstacles and drivers, and the strategic decision-making tools in these early phases. The research design of this explorative research applies a qualitative research strategy where a case study method is utilized to collect and analyze the data. This embedded singlecase involves a technology based firm serving the life science industry and it is a process of searching the attractive commercial concept for a technology. Because the case process is embedded, it includes multiple units of analysis such as the whole process, individual participants, participant groups, and events during the process. The data collecting methods in the study include interviews and participant-observations. Analyzing the case data relies on the theoretical propositions of the framework based on the previous research. Based on this research, the key management elements in the early phases of the technological innovation process are scanning technological and market information, stakeholder management, and strategic innovation management. The obstacles and drivers in the early phases of the technological innovation process suggested by the case include factors related to technology, market, stakeholders, and management. The most important obstacles and drivers seemed to relate to the technology, though the others appeared significant as well. In addition, three strategic decision-making tools for the early phases of the technological innovation process emerged during the case process: a tool for analyzing the competing technologies, a technology SWOT tool, and a tool for application search and evaluation.

The findings of this case study give further insight in the technological innovation management in small enterprises and also some concrete tools for their managers. In addition, the study proposes some managerial recommendations for the application search in small enterprises. This study was based on a single case, which means that the results cannot be generalized to different companies or industry fields. Therefore, the theory-building requires further research with various research methods and multiple researchers. Keywords: innovation management, innovation

process, small enterprise, technology

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Publishing language:...

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