Best Practices for Innovation Management. : A Study on Large Companies in Sweden.

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM); KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: The overall aim of this thesis was to identify and analyze good innovation management practices in Sweden’s most innovative large companies, excluding governmentally owned organizations. Out of 500 large organizations in Sweden, the top 25 most innovative companies have been ranked based upon over 7,000 printed press articles from 2018 available through Retriever Media. The companies are ranked by their innovations score which is calculated by the number of articles a company is mentioned in, adjusted to the company size, and multiplied with the mean sentiment score. The top 25 companies from the ranking was compared with 25 reference companies, active within the same industry based on the Swedish Standard Industrial Classification (SNI) number, that received a lower innovation score. Good innovation management practices were analyzed based on 14 qualitative interviews in 12 of the top 15 ranked companies and a quantitative survey responded by 20 top ranked and 17 reference companies. The interviews were semi structured with open ended questions to identify used practices, and the reasoning behind them. Spearman’s correlation method has been used to investigate if there was any correlation between the company’s innovation score, the mean performance score, and the mean importance score rated by respondents. The company case studies provide authentic examples on how and when different methods and concepts are used within industry. However, while theoretical frameworks often are strictly defined and described in solitary, the interviews have shown that when used within industry, it is rather the opposite. In many of the interviewed companies, frameworks and methods are modified, combined and constantly evolving. Aspects that the interviewees have expressed as important for an innovative company are: Innovation and change should be iterative, decentralized and started in small scale while receiving full support from top management. Examples of identified practices are: The innovation vision is used in the decision-making process for new ideas. Keywords connected to innovation are used for guiding new aspirations. There is an overall aim to become industry or/and digital leaders. Although the interviewed companies had similar innovation management practices, they were usually modified to fit within the company’s own organization and industry. The interviews contributed with interesting collection of practices within their authentic setting from which other companies could draw inspiration from. Lastly, a handbook was created describing how to conduct the innovation ranking annually, including a description of how to use the software as well as the required script of code.

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