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Anna Karlsson
Anna Karlsson, PhD at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Lars Andersson

Action important for the development of ideas

Published: 13 January 2015

Innovation requires creative ideas but new research at Luleå University of Technology shows that it is not quite so simple.

- To actually achieving innovation requires more than generating creative ideas, these ideas need to be developed further in order to have a chance to be implemented, says Anna Karlsson, PhD at Luleå University of Technology.

The dissertation Nurturing Innovation: idea development in R & D projects, Anna Karlsson examined idea development and how innovation development is to be effectively managed.

Risk aversion hampers

- My research showed that among the biggest barriers to innovation is the companies' unwillingness to take risks, and lack of ambition for innovation. It is something that affects the development of ideas and the employees believe in the company's ability to innovate, says Anna Karlsson, who through the study found areas that she feels particularly important for idea development in large enterprises.

- Actions of others in the product development process has been shown to play a major role, what one perceives as a "sneer" or a joke in the break room may ultimately dampen an employee's belief in its ability to deliver innovations. Companies need to pay attention to ideas and idea development in the organization to make it legitimate to work with something unknown, as one so far only think makes a difference.

Increased competitiveness

Anna Karlsson is an industrial positioned at Sandvik AB and she is convinced that Swedish companies have much to gain from improving their work to take advantage of and develop new ideas.

- If companies are getting better at this, they will be able to create a more innovative offer to its customers. In the end, it provides increased competitiveness against other companies.


Anna Karlsson

Karlsson, Anna - Adjunct Associate Professor

Organisation: Product Innovation, Humans and Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences