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Patterns of Uncertainty and Equivocality during Predevelopment: Findings from Process‐Based Firms
Center for Management of Innovation and Technology in Process Industry, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6476-2547
Division of Entrepreneurship, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Management of Technology, 2009, 14- p.Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous literature suggests that innovation managers should prioritize uncertainty reduction in early phases of innovation projects. When uncertainty is high, the general prediction is negative consequences in the form of time‐delays, waste of resources, unclear team vision and, ultimately, concept failure. There are strong reasons to believe, however, that simultaneous management of equivocality is equally important, but this concept has largely been neglected in previous research. By means of a case‐study relying upon exploratory interviews addressing unique observations of 58 innovation projects, we notice that the perhaps most significant challenge for being successful or not is not the initial levels of uncertainty. Rather, it is managerial attempts to actively fight for reducing uncertainty but also addressing the equivocality dimension in the pre‐development stages of the innovation process. We observe reduced patterns of uncertainty and equivocality in successful product innovation and process innovation projects in pre‐development stages. This was not the case for unsuccessful projects. Similarly, we find significantly lower levels of equivocality for successful projects, which is a contribution to prior research suggesting that uncertainty is the major concern during predevelopment. Moreover, our results show that perceived patterns of uncertainty and equivocality differ between product innovation and process innovation projects in different sub‐phases of pre‐development. Key results are summarized as propositions which not only provide guidance for future research, but also provide direct managerial implications on how to address uncertainty and equivocality in different sub‐phases of predevelopment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. 14- p.
Keyword [en]
predevelopment, innovation, fuzzy front end, product development
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-2985Local ID: 2082/3388OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-2985DiVA: diva2:240204
Conference
18th International Conference on Management of Technology, 5-9 April, Orlando, Florida, USA
Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-21 Last updated: 2013-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Frishammar, JohanFlorén, Henrik
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • 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