Identifying ideas of attractive quality in the innovation process

Lars Witell (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden, and Quality Technology and Management, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Martin Löfgren (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Anders Gustafsson (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 11 January 2011



The purpose of this study is to investigate whether and how new ideas generated by customers can be used in a process of attractive quality creation. In addition, it aims to discover whether ideas identified as attractive early in the innovation process have certain characteristics that separate them from other ideas.


The study involved 30 customers of a company that designs and produces microwave ovens. In a number of experiments, these customers generated over 100 new ideas on functions, attributes and services related to microwave ovens. Company specialists identified the 21 best ideas and these ideas were then evaluated by a large customer group using the theory of attractive quality.


The study shows how the theory of attractive quality can be used in the development of innovative products. It also provides empirical evidence that ideas identified as attractive are more original and of higher customer value than other ideas.

Practical implications

The study shows the extent to which and the circumstances in which the theory of attractive quality can be used to evaluate ideas in the early phases of product and service development.


Empirical research on attractive quality creation is sparse, and this study represents a rare example of a comprehensive study of attractive quality creation.



Witell, L., Löfgren, M. and Gustafsson, A. (2011), "Identifying ideas of attractive quality in the innovation process", The TQM Journal, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 87-99.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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