The Contextual Nature of Innovation - An Empirical Investigation of Three Software Intensive Products

by Mahvish; Fricker Khurum

Institution: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: software engineering - general; business administration - management control; innovation; software intensive products
Record ID: 1333626
Full text PDF: http://www.bth.se/fou/forskinfo.nsf/all/090e3439d26bcdebc1257da000657821?OpenDocument


Context: New products create significant opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantage. To increase the chances of new product success, a universal set of critical activities and determinants have been recommended. Some researchers believe, however, that these factors are not universal, but are contextual. Objective: This paper reports innovation processes followed to develop three software intensive products for understanding how and why innovation practice is dependent on innovation context. Method: This paper reports innovation processes and practices with an in-depth multi-case study of three software product innovations from Ericsson, IBM, and Rorotika. It describes the actual innovation processes followed in the three cases and discusses the observed innovation practice and relates it to state-of-the-art. Results: The cases point to a set of contextual factors that influence the choice of innovation activities and determinants for developing successful product innovations. The cases provide evidence that innovation practice cannot be standardized, but is contextual in nature. Conclusion: The rich description of the interaction between context and innovation practice enables future investigations into contextual elements that influence innovation practice, and calls for the creation of frameworks enabling activity and determinant selection for a given context – since one size does not fit all.