Innovation Management : Evaluation Criteria for Idea Selection

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.); KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Abstract: Innovation outside the company’s core business is essential for any company in a fast-changing environment. Companies that want to engage in strategic innovation in order to embrace emerging opportunities need ways of managing the innovation process. There is currently limited research on how to select among and evaluate innovation proposals for emerging opportunities in the context of intrapreneurship. This master thesis investigates how an incumbent high-tech company that promote intrapreneurship uses criteria in the selection process of innovation proposals. The study conducts an embedded single-case study of the case company, referred to as Company A, by collecting qualitative data through archival documents and 19 semi-structured interviews. The study uses Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation to analyse the results. Findings show that an incumbent high-tech company uses a set of criteria that is a mix of the previous findings in the context of new product development and external investors. The criteria utilized in the selection process are within the dimensions market and value, product and technology, operations and financials, corporate alignment, and team. The conducted interviews exposed that personal considerations constitute additional informal criteria for the evaluators, and much emphasis is put on the intrapreneur’s characteristics and presentation. Findings from the interviews suggest that criteria should be utilized less strict in the beginning of the process, which is supported by previous researchers. Criteria also contribute with transparency to the innovation process and can be used as guidelines for the innovator. Christensen’s theory contradicts the use of the criteria market size, corporate alignment and to validate the innovation with a customer because of the nature of emerging markets and technologies.

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