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Making Innovation Flow An exploratory study on Lean Innovation

Reference number
Coordinator STIFTELSEN STOCKHOLM SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS (SSE) INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH - Stockholm School of Economics Institute for Research
Funding from Vinnova SEK 604 000
Project duration November 2012 - August 2013
Status Completed

Purpose and goal

The aim of the project was to examine if a lean approach to innovation management makes sense, and which challenges exists implementing lean on innovation? We performed a structured study on Lean Innovation, analyzing the apparent contradiction between lean and innovation and assessed whether their combination would have the potential to improve firm performance. From practice and academia we learnt there is a yes to the question above. Thereafter we identified challenges and solutions based upon input from practice and academia, thereby fulfilling the aim of the project.

Expected effects and result

Our study provide a clear picture of the practical implementation of Lean on innovation work by reporting what it is working and what it is not from a practical and a theoretical point of view. In total nine challenges were identified and five solutions to these challenges suggested. It is our belief that our study is needed to help leading companies accomplish the effective application of lean into their innovation and R&D processes, as well to encourage other companies to follow in the attempt to improve innovative performance.

Planned approach and implementation

Initially we conducted a literature review (journal articles and books, practice oriented books and articles) and interviews (with 42 people in roles such as, e.g. R&D manager, product manager, group manager). Second, our study focused on analyzing issues as: people´s view of lean, how lean can be implemented, how future operations are to be developed, and how leadership can be achieved. Third we compared and contrasted inputs from theory and practice helping us identify what is working, what the challenges are when implementing lean on innovative work, and what the solutions are.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 11 February 2019

Reference number 2012-03753

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