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Architectural or modular innovation? Managing discontinuous product development in response to challenging environmental performance targets
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Kite)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3164-6352
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Kite)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4233-5138
2003 (English)In: International Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1363-9196, E-ISSN 1757-5877, Vol. 7, no 1, 1-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By adopting challenging targets on environmental performance, pro-active industrial firms may push themselves towards discontinuous product innovation. Such innovation can be understood as being either architectural, i.e. arranging components in new ways, or modular, i.e. introducing new technologies in specific components or subsystems. We argue that these two dimensions of discontinuous change call for some specific managerial responses. Architectural innovation challenges the whole engineering organisation, making it necessary to focus development efforts on technological interfaces, whereas modular innovation has a more isolated effect, making specialisation and co-ordination over organisational boundaries particularly important. Altogether, our analysis highlights the importance of adapting the project organisation to the development task and addressing part-whole relationships when managing innovation in established products and systems, something that becomes increasingly important in the strive towards sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Imperial collage press , 2003. Vol. 7, no 1, 1-26 p.
Keyword [en]
product development, discontinuous innovation, environmental performance, organisation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66058DOI: 10.1142/S1363919603000714OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-66058DiVA: diva2:401308
Available from: 2011-03-02 Created: 2011-03-02 Last updated: 2017-12-11
In thesis
1. Managerial challenges in environmental innovation: case studies in the electrical equipment and automotive sectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managerial challenges in environmental innovation: case studies in the electrical equipment and automotive sectors
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is a compilation of five papers that analyse and discuss the managerial challenge of environmental innovation. Environmental innovation seeks to integrate environmental features into products and thus bring new products with better environmental performance to the market. The dissertation reports on three case studies within the electrical equipment and automotive sectors. The first case refers to development of an innovative new gasoline-electric hybrid power train; the second case refers to the development of a new industrial gas turbine, comprising advanced new burner technology; and the third case describes the introduction of new technology for small-scale distributed electricity generation. On the basis of concepts and theoretical models derived from literature on innovation management, the dissertation offers two alternative ways to conceptualise environmental innovation. Firstly, environmental innovation is conceptualised as product development. This is useful to analyse the inner dynamics of R&D organisations and it hightlights the need to adapt organisations and managerial practices to the specific requirements of the development task. Secondly, environmental innovation is conceptualised as the introduction of new technology. Here, two alternative perspectives are discussed. The incumbents' perspective illustrates that environmental innovation may be perceived as a potential threat for existing manufacturers within the established industry and it is used to discuss their strategic responses. The entrants' perspective shows how the definition of early markets and applications is complicated for suppliers who are engaged in environmental innovation. The dissertation argues that environmental innovation is characterised by extensive complexity both in terms of technological complexity and complexity in shaping of demands on technological progress. It concludes that is is important for managers to create an ability to deal with complexity. Based on empirical findings, three possible approaches are outlined: simplification, interaction and experimentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2003. 89 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Management and Economics. Dissertations, ISSN 0347-8920 ; 59Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 73
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-34668 (URN)22451 (Local ID)91-7373-655-1 (ISBN)22451 (Archive number)22451 (OAI)
Public defence
2003-07-01, 00:00
Note

Date of public defence not available.

Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-10-08

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Magnusson, ThomasLindström, GöranBerggren, Christian

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