Impact of organizational Vision on Ideation within SMEs : A case study portraying a leading German high-tech SME

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM); KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Sammanfattning: In a research from 2017, Perkins et al. state that a deeper understanding of organizational vision guiding idea generation is needed. The question that needs to be answered is, if an organizational vision impacts capabilities for ideation. Such a statement by Perkins et al. challenges Duggan’s (2013) view about idea generation. Duggan views idea generation as a creative process which should not be restricted by goals, strategy, or vision. This dilemma combined with the need for further investigation of ideation within SMEs led to the following research question: “How does organizational vision impact capabilities for ideation among different stakeholders in high techGerman SMEs?”. The partner company for this study is high tech German SME. The company is in the process of defining and implementing a new vision, as well as seeking for a more structured innovation process in order to improve its new product development. Research in this field has favored large organizations in the past. Hence, there is an interest in extending research and further developing knowledge regarding processes and frameworks for product development, vision, and ideation for SMEs. A single case-study approach was chosen for an in-depth approach with the suggested design of a research question, case selection, data collection and analysis. The triangulation approach was used to collect the data. The qualitative methods resulted in a series of 8 hypotheses which were further tested using quantitative methods such as surveys performed within the partnering company. The qualitative and quantitative data suggest that the organizational vision impacts capabilities for ideation among stakeholders. The influence varies from being negative, nonexistent, to being very positive. The level and type of influence varies depending on several factors such as vision understanding, vision implementation, alignment, involvement of the management in ideation, organizational and work structures, etc. When all these factors are present and connected to each other, they enhance the role that organizational vision plays in guiding the development of new and relevant ideas and new products. Such presence of these factors allows employees to generate ideas that match the vision and overall goals. A Positive influence means that generated ideas are aligned with the vision, thus aligned with the direction that the company takes and possibly result in products with higher market potential. When these earlier mentioned factors are absent, or connected in a wrong way, this can result in negative influence that the vision has on capabilities for ideation among different stakeholders. This study contributes towards solving the earlier mentioned dilemma, which is interesting for researchers and practitioners even more. The study raises awareness of the importance of doing research in the field of ideation and its interfaces with a focus on SMEs, as this is highly important for SMEs and the global economy. While researchers get data that can be used to build a foundation for future research in the field of organizational vision and ideation, practitioners learn how to increase SMEs overall performance which is the fundamental purpose of innovation.

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