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The human side of idea screening
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7426-0337
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In extant research, idea screening has been viewed as a gate where ideas for innovations are evaluated and selected for further development. Given that organizations have limited resources, and cannot implement all of the ideas, idea screening acts as a bottleneck during the innovation process. Thus far, research studies have mainly focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of idea screening through e.g. crowdsourcing, improving its accuracy, and even developing algorithms that mimic human evaluations. However, this pursuit of technical and procedural optimization has only reinforced the perception of idea screening as a strict decision gate, limiting our understanding of this phenomenon. Consequentially, this has led to a gap between how idea screening is portrayed by research and what is happening during screening. The aim of this study is thus to explore idea screening from the evaluator’s perspective in order to enrich our current understanding of this phenomenon and to reduce the gap between theory and practice. The methodological approach used was inspired by mixed methods research, and the empirical base consisted of a total of 1,305 idea screening cases performed by 245 people, focusing on technology-based ideas for innovations. The findings showed that evaluators did not just evaluate and select ideas for further development, but were engaged in generative activities that helped them to understand ideas and envision their future potential. This indicated that idea screening is not a strict decision gate, but is also a stage where ideas can be refined. The findings propose a change of logic as regards how to understand idea screening, and how to find ideas of high quality, i.e. good ideas are not created during idea generation, and then discovered during screening, they are instead created by the evaluators during screening. Recognising this opens up new opportunities for capturing activities that can improve screening.

Abstract [en]

What is a good idea for innovation? This is indeed a fascinating question. Practitioners want to know how to find good ideas that will contribute towards successful innovation projects, while researchers may face the challenging task of understanding what is “good” to begin with. In order to find an answer to this question, I have chosen to focus this doctoral thesis on the phenomenon of idea screening, whereby people engage in the process of determining the quality of ideas for innovations.

In my own view, idea screening is an activity that consists of perception (the process of making sense and becoming aware) and judgement (reaching conclusions about what has been perceived). Breaking down these concepts into further detail has allowed me to zoom in on the core of what leads to the perception of a “good” idea, gradually changing my initial understanding away from “what constitutes a good idea for innovation?” towards “what makes people think that the idea is good?”. This change of perspective emphasizes the importance of the human side of idea screening and feeds further into a discussion about whether ideas present opportunities that can be discovered, or whether ideas are constructed by the people who create these opportunities. The answer is undoubtedly – both.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstads universitet, 2019. , p. 87
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2019:34
Keywords [en]
comprehension, front end of innovation, generativity, idea screening, mechanisms, mixed methods research, sensemaking
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75769ISBN: 978-91-7867-059-8 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-069-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-75769DiVA, id: diva2:1370769
Public defence
2020-01-22, 11D121, Andersalen, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2020-03-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. What is an idea for innovation?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What is an idea for innovation?
2019 (English)In: Service Innovation for Sustainable Business: Stimulating, Realizing and Capturing the Value from Service Innovation / [ed] Per Kristensson, Peter Magnusson, Lars Witell, World Scientific, 2019, p. 29-47Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

1. There is no unified model for what an idea for innovation is.

2. This chapter provides a model for describing the anatomy of an idea

and also defines the boundary conditions to be fulfilled for realizing it.

3. An idea is defined as a short contextual narrative consisting of a solution

to a certain problem. Ideas have a dual purpose: they provide a

description for a certain plan of action, but also trigger new associations

and give rise to new ideas. A checklist for managing idea development

is provided.

4. This is a conceptual chapter that is relevant for both private and public

innovation management practices.

5. This chapter relates to Chapters 2 and 4.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
World Scientific, 2019
Keywords
Innovation, Idea, Fuzzy Front End, Front End of Innovation, Definition, Problem-solving
National Category
Business Administration Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71917 (URN)10.1142/9789813273382_0003 (DOI)9789813273375 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-04-29 Created: 2019-04-29 Last updated: 2019-11-18Bibliographically approved
2. The role of perceived comprehension in idea evaluation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of perceived comprehension in idea evaluation
2018 (English)In: Creativity and Innovation Management, ISSN 0963-1690, E-ISSN 1467-8691, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 183-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Idea evaluation is a vital stage in the front end of innovation, which helps managers decide the direction of future innovation projects. Often, idea evaluations are crowdsourced from users in order to know their preferences. However, since early ideas are incomplete, evaluations may be exposed to cognitive bias. Previous research suggests that people have a tendency to fill inthe gaps in idea descriptions and understand them implicitly, but this can lead to additional processing and result in the undervaluation of the idea. This study tests the relationship betweenidea completeness, the assessors’ subjective comprehension, and the perceived quality of early ideas for public transport services. The results show that there is no consistently direct effect between completeness and idea quality, which suggests that idea evaluations do not rely on informed decision‐making (i.e., decisions based on the provided information). In fact, people who think they comprehend an idea also perceive its quality more higher than people who do not comprehend it. An increase in completeness acts as an aid for comprehension. These findings have important implications for idea management, and point to the significant effect of incomprehension during evaluation, something which needs to be taken into account when using crowdsourcing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2018
Keywords
Comprehension, Idea Quality, Assessment, Evaluation, Innovation, Crowdsourcing
National Category
Business Administration Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66479 (URN)10.1111/caim.12262 (DOI)000431629800007 ()
Available from: 2018-02-26 Created: 2018-02-26 Last updated: 2019-11-18Bibliographically approved
3. That makes sense to me: Openness to change and sensemaking in idea screening
Open this publication in new window or tab >>That makes sense to me: Openness to change and sensemaking in idea screening
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1363-9196, E-ISSN 1757-5877, Vol. 22, no 8, p. 1-15, article id 1840009Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines how a person’s sense of identity (expressed in terms of openness to change vs. conservation) influences the way in which they screen early ideas for innovation projects. To study this, we recruited 20 experts from a leading IT-consultancy firm to individually evaluate and comment on 12 R&D project ideas. This data was then analysed by using a configurational approach (fsQCA) to understand how different experts combine various evaluation dimensions together to make sense of and decide on the goodness of an idea. The findings show that experts who are open to change view ideas as opportunities and approach idea screening as a generative process, while conservative experts are more reserved in their idea screening activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
World Scientific, 2018
Keywords
Sensemaking; idea screening; evaluation; values; identity; openness to change; conservative; fsQCA
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-70330 (URN)10.1142/S1363919618400091 (DOI)000454058700003 ()
Available from: 2018-11-29 Created: 2018-11-29 Last updated: 2019-11-18Bibliographically approved
4. Idea screening: Explaining activities, modes and processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Idea screening: Explaining activities, modes and processes
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
fsQCA, fuzzy front-end, idea screening, sensemaking, think aloud protocol
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75768 (URN)
Available from: 2019-11-18 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2019-11-18

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