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Design Science Journal
Papers

A Case Study of Idea Work in the Early Phases of Product Development

A Case Study of Idea Work in the Early Phases of Product Development

Year: 2009

Section: Design Processes

Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.

Author: Gish, Liv; Clausen, Christian; Hansen, Claus Thorp

Section: Design Processes

Pages: 447-458

Abstract

Focus in this paper is on the early innovation activities, in particular idea work. Based on a case study from industrial practice on the development of a new circulator (the Alpha Pro circulator) we aim at getting a better understanding of the work with ideas in the early phases of product development. Based on our case we will point out four central findings: 1) Early idea work is a complex process and interlinked with many other activities both inside and outside the organization. 2) Ideas evolve, combine and change over time. 3) Idea work involves a wide range of actors. 4) Carrying ideas through demands continuous mobilization of support among a range of actors.

We suggest that the actors involved in idea work and their interaction such as negotiating different understandings of what constitutes a qualified idea as well as the continuous mobilization of support to their ideas among a range of actors should be key elements when we want to understand early idea work.

Keywords: Idea work, front-end innovation, interaction, political process, case study

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ds conferenceICED09: 17th International Conference on Engineering Design

The Design Society and the Stanford Center for Design Research cordially invite you to participate in the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'09. The venue will be Stanford University’s verdant campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, a short 35 miles south of San Francisco, California. Research papers and case studies are solicited on any topic related to design thinking, theory, and practice, with a premium placed on evidence-based research. Topics and Themes include: *...

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