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Beyond Managing Uncertainty: Insights from Studying Equivocality in the Fuzzy Front-End of Product and Process Innovation Projects
Luleå University of Technology.
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6476-2547
Luleå University of Technology.
2011 (English)In: IEEE transactions on engineering management, ISSN 0018-9391, Vol. 58, no 3, 551-563 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown uncertainty reduction to be critical in the fuzzy front end of the innovation process, but little attention has been given to the equally important concept of equivocality, although it is a defining characteristic of many front-end projects. To address this research gap, this paper report the resultsfrom a longitudinal, multiple case study of four large companiesoriented to both product and process innovation. First, our results show that both uncertainty and equivocality is more effectively reduced in successful front-end projects than in unsuccessful ones. Second, the negative consequences of equivocality appear more critical to front-end performance than the consequences following uncertainty. Third, our results show that uncertainty and equivocality are reduced sequentially in successful projects and simultaneously in unsuccessful projects. Finally, uncertainty and equivocality takes longer time to reduce in process innovation projects than in product innovation projects, which is a consequence of the systemic nature of process innovation. Altogether, these findings provide strong implications for managing front-end projects more proficiently.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, N.Y.: IEEE Press, 2011. Vol. 58, no 3, 551-563 p.
Keyword [en]
Equivocality, fuzzy front end, predevelopment, process innovation, product innovation, uncertainty
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-15359DOI: 10.1109/TEM.2010.2095017ISI: 000293707100012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79960719820OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-15359DiVA: diva2:422439
Available from: 2011-06-13 Created: 2011-06-13 Last updated: 2013-10-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • 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