Mikael Johnsson was really happy when he got the result of the grading committee meeting from Professor Sofia Ritzén, it was a pass!
This was after a morning of presentation and discussion as Mikael defended his PhD thesis "Innovation Enablers and Their Importance for Innovation Teams" in front of family, friends and colleagues at Blekinge Institute of Technology.
The research has focused developing an understanding of factors that enable innovation teams to conduct agile innovation work in an industrial context. The background and reason for this research are not only that innovation is necessary for companies that want to stay in business, but also that these companies need to increase the speed of their innovation work to stay competitive.
This research revealed five main findings: first, knowledge about important innovation enablers (Enablers) revealed from a literature study; second, the Innovation Team Model (ITM), demonstrating innovation teams before innovation work is begun in relation to the individuals and organization in a holistic way; third, the innovation team creation process (CIT-process), a stepwise process in how to create an innovation team; fourth, the innovation facilitator, who supports and facilitates the innovation team throughout the CIT-process and the innovation projects; and fifth, the Extended Innovation Process (EIP), an extension of the traditional innovation process by a pre-phase, i.e. a Preparation-phase, to gather and prepare the innovation teams for forthcoming work. The findings regarding the importance of the CIT-process, the EIP, and the innovation facilitator were unexpected.
The findings formed the Innovation Team Framework (ITF), which represents all of the findings in relation to each other. The EIP is used as the basis for which the other innovation enablers are provided to the innovation teams through an innovation facilitator’s competence throughout the innovation project. The ITF is multidimensional: it could serve as a tool to describe both the simplicity and the complexity when creating an innovation team and forthcoming work and activities.
All separate findings within this research contribute to prior research in individual ways, however, the ITF is the main scientific contribution of this study to Innovation management.
Practitioners can use the ITF as a complement to already established methodologies for product development or similar; however one should be aware of the limited nature of the data set that served as the basis for analysis and development of the ITF.
The research was mainly carried out within two research projects. The first one, named “Wings of Innovation" at Mälardalen University, and the second project was the Model Driven Development and Decision Support (MD3S) research profile at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH). MD3S is an initiative financed by the Swedish Knowledge and Competence Development Foundation (Stiftelsen för kunskaps- och kompetensutveckling).
Mikael has been practically involved in innovation teams working in industry, and supported them through their innovation work. Main collaborator for the studies have been Volvo CE.
After detailed scrutiny by Professor Monica Bordegoni (Politecnico di Milano) and final approval by the grading committee, composed of Professor Sofia Ritzén (Royal Institute of Technology), Professor Tim McAloone (Denmark Technical University), and Professor Johan Ölvander (Linköping University) Mikael finally got the chance to nail his thesis to the wooden plank, signalling that it is DONE!
Supervisors of the research has been Professor Tobias Larsson (BTH) and Professor Tomas Backström (Mälardalen University).
We gratulate our newest PhD on such an important milestone in his research carrier!