Images of Innovation: An Ontological Approach (Keynote speech)

Timothy Charles McAloone, P.H.K. Hansen, J.H. Larsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Innovation perceived as the front-end activities to product development projects is a frequent research topic. However, since innovation research is a relatively young and unconsolidated field, these studies tend to originate from different domains, and represent a wide spectrum of viewpoints. This diversity results in the published findings of the studies to be circulated and recognised mainly in their original domains, and points at the necessity of synthesising the knowledge that exist in innovation research communities locally. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to discuss the diversity in research activities related to product innovation; second, to discuss the industrial implication of this research diversity. From a research perspective innovation is generally perceived as the front-end activities to product development projects. However, since innovation research is a relatively young and unconsolidated field, these research studies tend to originate from different domains, and represent a wide spectrum of viewpoints. To have their research result published the individuals or groups need to narrow their focus which leads to a huge diversity and as yet no established protocols with which to facilitate comparison and accumulation of findings between research communities. This diversity results in the published findings of the studies being circulated and recognised mainly within their original domains, and points to the necessity of synthesising the knowledge that exists in innovation research communities to be useful for a wider community. From an industrial perspective the narrow focus and lack of comparison between research findings strongly contradicts the need to establish comprehensive understandings of the nature and control variables of the innovation process. The problem related to the innovation challenge of the industrial manager can be described as being a configuration problem with a high number of variables, having contradictory influence on the total performance. In general, industrial managers need a rich and transparent repertoire of views (images), so as not to be imprisoned by any particular one. This might explain the success of books such as Mintzberg et. al. Strategy Safari and Gareth Morgan¿s Images of Organizations. The latter has given inspiration to the title of this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcedings of Design 2004 8th International Conference on Design
Place of PublicationZagreb
PublisherFaculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture
Publication date2004
Pages53-60
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event8th International Design Conference - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 17 May 200420 May 2004
Conference number: 8

Conference

Conference8th International Design Conference
Number8
CountryCroatia
CityDubrovnik
Period17/05/200420/05/2004

Keywords

  • Innovation
  • PD methods
  • Tools

Cite this

McAloone, T. C., Hansen, P. H. K., & Larsen, J. H. (2004). Images of Innovation: An Ontological Approach (Keynote speech). In Procedings of Design 2004 8th International Conference on Design (pp. 53-60). Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture.