Organizing for the generation of radical innovations

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2021
Författare
Braun, Simon
Boström, Markus
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Innovation management is a research domain that has been studied extensively and tends to be a challenge for many practitioners. Innovation is commonly viewed as a source of competitiveness and essential for survival. Whilst many scholars have generally engaged in incremental innovation, the significance of organizing for radical innovation has increased and captured the attention of academia and industry. The thesis has been carried out in collaboration with a software company labeled Company X. To collect data, the study used semi-structured interviews of Company X. Furthermore, a literature review was conducted of the theory of innovation and how it is practiced in prominent companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tesla Motors, and Apigee. The study aims to explore approaches that can improve the opportunity of generating radical innovations. The study contributes to academia by providing insights into innovation management with a focus on radical innovation and to practitioners wanting to enhance their radical innovation management. The three main components analyzed are culture and people, organizational structure, and the innovation process. The analysis indicates that learning and acceptance of failure should permeate the culture. Recruiters should strive to employ people that display entrepreneurial qualities and empower them through ensuring psychological safety. To retain employees and improve the generation of radical innovations, Company X should provide incentives and rotate people in the organization to develop their knowledge. The structure should facilitate knowledge sharing between different business entities to capture insights from diverse sources, enabling more creativity in idea generation processes. Decision-making should be decentralized to enable employees to freely explore ideas without being limited by hierarchical relationships. Whilst the radical innovation process is difficult to measure, practitioners should use frameworks that encourage exploration of novel ideas, blending of different insights, and questioning of existing assumptions. It is advised that corporations target innovators and early adopters to facilitate the idea generation, additionally, if these customers are reputable they can enable the diffusion of the innovation.
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Innovation management, radical innovations, innovation process, innovation frameworks, innovation measurement, innovation and organization
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