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How Can Idea Campaigns Generate Ideas to Trigger Innovation?

Brange, Kajsa LU and Lindqvist, Elin (2013) TMA820 20131
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Issue of study: The starting point for innovation is ideas, which can be seen as fuel to the innovation process as it supplies the innovation funnel with new or improved concepts that finally may spark innovation. There is a vast literature on the success of a few radical ideation methods and the use of creativity tools, while few have dealt with the use and effects of ideation approaches in practice. The idea for this master's thesis initially came from E.ON, a large utility company, which expressed a need to address the problem of internal ideation and how to take advantage of employees’ ideas to trigger innovation. Tapping into the creativity of employees and collecting their ideas is, in fact, a general desire of companies. However,... (More)
Issue of study: The starting point for innovation is ideas, which can be seen as fuel to the innovation process as it supplies the innovation funnel with new or improved concepts that finally may spark innovation. There is a vast literature on the success of a few radical ideation methods and the use of creativity tools, while few have dealt with the use and effects of ideation approaches in practice. The idea for this master's thesis initially came from E.ON, a large utility company, which expressed a need to address the problem of internal ideation and how to take advantage of employees’ ideas to trigger innovation. Tapping into the creativity of employees and collecting their ideas is, in fact, a general desire of companies. However, managing ideation is a common challenge for large organisations. This is because ideation is often done autonomously in smaller organisations, whereas in large organisations a more structured approach towards idea management is needed in order to attain employees’ ideas.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to increase the understanding of how large organisations in general, and E.ON in particular, can conduct an idea campaign successfully in the front end of innovation

Methodology: Based on the purpose of this study, a qualitative case study with a deductive approach was chosen for this thesis. The data collection mainly includes responses gathered from surveys and interviews with representatives at pre-study companies, as well as with E.ON employees.

Conclusions: Six key factors for managing ideation, namely communication, collaboration, incentives, innovation climate, management support, and idea management, have been identified during the course of this master’s thesis. These factors have been studied in literature and then been validated as important in a pre-study including six large Swedish companies, as well as in a case study conducted at E.ON. All of the key factors are considered to be important for managing ideation successfully in large organisations.

Based on the identified key factors, an Idea Campaign Framework for how to conduct an idea campaign successfully was developed in this thesis. The framework as a whole includes three phases of ideation: ideation planning, ideation execution and ideation follow up. The main focus in this thesis has been on the execution phase, which was developed to help large organisations to conduct an idea campaign successfully. The execution phase illustrates how key factors should be addressed in order to trigger certain features, which in turn would lead to desired effects of a successful idea campaign.

The Idea Campaign Framework has been empirically tested at E.ON in Malmö, through the launch of an idea competition called ‘Bright Ideas’. The idea competition was launched during two weeks in the spring of 2013 and resulted in 160 ideas. The empirical evidence from the test at the case company conclude that the elements in the Idea Campaign Framework are important to consider in attaining employees’ ideas in large organisations. To conclude, the framework may be used as a guide for how to conduct an idea campaign successfully in order to attain employees’ ideas and feed the innovation funnel. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Brange, Kajsa LU and Lindqvist, Elin
supervisor
organization
course
TMA820 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Front End Innovation, Ideas, Ideation, Idea Campaigns, Case Study, E.ON
report number
No 249/2013
ISSN
1651-0100
language
English
id
3806167
date added to LUP
2014-12-18 15:05:05
date last changed
2014-12-18 15:05:05
@misc{3806167,
  abstract     = {Issue of study:	The starting point for innovation is ideas, which can be seen as fuel to the innovation process as it supplies the innovation funnel with new or improved concepts that finally may spark innovation. There is a vast literature on the success of a few radical ideation methods and the use of creativity tools, while few have dealt with the use and effects of ideation approaches in practice. The idea for this master's thesis initially came from E.ON, a large utility company, which expressed a need to address the problem of internal ideation and how to take advantage of employees’ ideas to trigger innovation. Tapping into the creativity of employees and collecting their ideas is, in fact, a general desire of companies. However, managing ideation is a common challenge for large organisations. This is because ideation is often done autonomously in smaller organisations, whereas in large organisations a more structured approach towards idea management is needed in order to attain employees’ ideas.

Purpose:	The purpose of this thesis is to increase the understanding of how large organisations in general, and E.ON in particular, can conduct an idea campaign successfully in the front end of innovation

Methodology:	Based on the purpose of this study, a qualitative case study with a deductive approach was chosen for this thesis. The data collection mainly includes responses gathered from surveys and interviews with representatives at pre-study companies, as well as with E.ON employees.

Conclusions:	Six key factors for managing ideation, namely communication, collaboration, incentives, innovation climate, management support, and idea management, have been identified during the course of this master’s thesis. These factors have been studied in literature and then been validated as important in a pre-study including six large Swedish companies, as well as in a case study conducted at E.ON. All of the key factors are considered to be important for managing ideation successfully in large organisations.

Based on the identified key factors, an Idea Campaign Framework for how to conduct an idea campaign successfully was developed in this thesis. The framework as a whole includes three phases of ideation: ideation planning, ideation execution and ideation follow up. The main focus in this thesis has been on the execution phase, which was developed to help large organisations to conduct an idea campaign successfully. The execution phase illustrates how key factors should be addressed in order to trigger certain features, which in turn would lead to desired effects of a successful idea campaign. 

The Idea Campaign Framework has been empirically tested at E.ON in Malmö, through the launch of an idea competition called ‘Bright Ideas’. The idea competition was launched during two weeks in the spring of 2013 and resulted in 160 ideas. The empirical evidence from the test at the case company conclude that the elements in the Idea Campaign Framework are important to consider in attaining employees’ ideas in large organisations. To conclude, the framework may be used as a guide for how to conduct an idea campaign successfully in order to attain employees’ ideas and feed the innovation funnel.},
  author       = {Brange, Kajsa and Lindqvist, Elin},
  issn         = {1651-0100},
  keyword      = {Front End Innovation,Ideas,Ideation,Idea Campaigns,Case Study,E.ON},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {How Can Idea Campaigns Generate Ideas to Trigger Innovation?},
  year         = {2013},
}